Back to the Future

Featured image – Negra, 1980 and 2010 by Irina Werning

Irina Werning wants to take you back to the future.  Your future.  A self-proclaimed “nosey photographer,” she turned her habit of sniffing out old photos in others’ homes into a pretty great project.  The concept is simple: following a subject through time.  Clearly she’s not the first to do so – Diane Arbus and Annie Leibowitz explored this concept in depth, and I saw a particularly striking series by Rineke Dijkstra of  a Bosnian woman named Almerisa at MoMA last year.  However, instead of catching up to a subject in the future, Werning brings her subjects back to their past by inviting them to recreate an old photograph verbatim.  The really special bit, though, is her composition.  The lighting, costumes, poses, attitudes… they’re all spot on.

Here is Cecile in 1987 and 2010, in her native France:

Cecile, Irina Werning

So come along for the ride – and reflect on how much you’ve changed since your own awkward teen years.  Chances are, it’s more and less than you’d like to admit, all at once.  Meet Ian – shown in London in 1984 and 2010:

Ian, Irina Werning

Irina is a Buenos Aires native.  As an added bonus, many of her prints feature glimpses into the culture and style of Buenos Aires over the last 30 years.  This is Lucia in 1956 and 2010:

Lucia, Irina Werning

I wish the camera angle was better matched, but I still love the scale in this series – my, how we really do grow up.  This is Lali in Buenos Aires – 1978 and 2010.

Lali, Irina Werning

See the full collection at her website – www.irinawerning.com.  Don’t miss her other projects (From the playful “Chini,” a tribute to her Chihuahua, to the contemplative black-and-whites of “Little Schools in the Andes”) and check back in June for the debut of “Back to the Future II.”

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This entry was published on April 20, 2011 at 10:23. It’s filed under Look, World and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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