Sunday, November 18, 2007

Recreated Iconic Photos

First, I apologize, it's been a long time since I've blogged. In typical fashion, I installed an exhibition and promptly got sick for over a week. Today, I am feeling slightly better and surfed around to find today's featured images via Your Daily Awesome.

As far as I can tell, these photos might be authored by a collective called Henry VIII's Wives (it's a little hard to tell from this website). Funny, then disturbing, then provocative, these staged images of famous photographs featuring senior citizens remind me a bit of Vik Muniz's hand-drawn pictures from memory titled "The Best of Life," an example of which is seen at the very bottom of this post. The above images are by far the best from a small online selection; I hope that they continue along these lines. A quote from the mystery site:

The series of photographs entitled The Iconic Moments of the 20th Century emerged in the processual (?) work with the pensioners in a home for the elderly in Glasgow emanates the same impression. A group of aged volunteers pose in their everyday outfits and in th
eir daily environment (the vicinity of the Home) to re-enact the scenes from well-known newspaper photographs taken from history books and encyclopaedias. The images in question depict ‘historical moments’ that took place in their lifetime: Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference during the World War II, the Napalm Attack and the killing a Vietcong from the Vietnam War, or the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, which was depicted live on a TV programme. - Jelena Velcic in Breaking Step—Displacement, Compasion (sic) and Humour in Recent Art From Britain, Catalog, 2007 Belgrad
I conclude with a quote by Muniz on his series from an interview with Peter Galassi:
The Best of Life Series, for example, are drawings of very famous photographs made entirely from memory. When the drawings were good enough to look like a bad reproduction of the original image, I photographed them and printed them with the same half tone pattern we usually see in these images for the first time in the papers. In these works I tried to find out what a photograph looks like in your head when you are not looking at it. They carried the structure of the famous news pictures but they were in fact very different.
Vik Muniz, Best of Life, Memory Rendering of the Man on the Moon, 1989.


Anonymous said...

I was really hoping that the pensioners decided to do this themselves and almost didn't want to read the statement. I wish they had a better website... maybe with some input from the pensioners about the work. Nice find!

LKB said...

I agree, I think it would be very interesting on both accounts. Also, especially if they also wrote about re-experiencing these photos they knew so well during their lives.

I wonder what our iconic photos would be?

Anonymous said...

Abu Ghraib comes to mind... the hooded figure on the box... it's hard to think what else there is, maybe there isn't anything else, perhaps yet...