Irina Werning recreates baby photos using the same subject years later. Using props, location and photographic techniques Werning ‘brings distant memories into sharp focus’ (Werning 2012). Since 2010 Werning has restaged over 200 images of friends, family and members of the public who insisted on participating in the project (Werning 2012). She saves her favourite submissions in a database sorted by location (Werning 2012).
The series started as something more intimate using friends and family and developed into a larger project using strangers from different countries (Werning 2013). The project went viral for six weeks with the public’s fascination about the project. Members of the public whom accessed the work online were contacting Werning asking to be involved (Werning 2013). As the body of work developed Werning started touring the world with the project staying at her subject’s houses (Werning 2013) making the body of work an international piece.
Werning puts a great deal of effort into the creation of each image. ‘From arranging the right wardrobe, to creating backdrops and perfectly mimicked bad lighting, let alone traveling to meet each of her subjects, each photograph is really a significant undertaking’ (Jobson 2013). Werning has ‘been known to arrive at shoots armed with blocks of painted Styrofoam, a bright orange skateboard, and, literally, the kitchen sink — anything that will help her meticulously re-create other people’s childhood snapshots, starring their adult selves’ (Werning 2012). She works on ten pictures at a time in her flat (Werning 2013). Werning is a great example of the effort and extent that needs to be done in order to gain the ideal final image. Without Werning’s work ethic the body of work may not be as popular as it is today. This highlights the extent one must go through in order to gain the best possible outcome. Working hard and planning is essential to achieving.
Werning’s hard work has benefited her project, which has now developed. Her project is now ‘Aided by a grant from the Magnum Foundation and Burn magazine, Werning now travels from Argentina to locations like India and Iceland to expand her photo series, which she posts on her Web site, irinawerning.com (Werning 2012). Due to Werning’s efforts her project is constantly expanding and growing in popularity.
Werning’s body of work may act as investigative piece as she has to find and analyse the best image in order to appear as an artist in reconstruction. Similar to my body of work they are both built upon historical images and used to create an artistic narrative. All images have a story behind them; similar to both Werning and myself we use these images to build a body of work. Werning commented on her body of work stating ‘I love old photos. I admit being a nosey photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today… Two years ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future’ (Werning 2011) Similar to my piece being nosey is what allowed the in depth narrative that we both extend on in our different artistic styles.
Jobson, C., Werning, I. (2013) Back To The Future Documentary [online] available from<http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/06/back-to-the-future-a-documentary-short-on-irina-wernings-viral-photography-project/> [16th February 2017]
NPR. (2011) Behind The Scenes And ‘Back To The Future’ With Photographer Irina Werning [online] available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ9P4uiEl6w > [12 February 2017]
Werning, I. (2011) Alexandra [online] [IMAGE] available from <http://irinawerning.com/bttf2/back-to-the-future-2-2011/ > [12 February 2017]
Werning, I. (2011) Back To The Future [online] available from <http://irinawerning.com/bttf2/back-to-the-future-2-2011/> [16th February 2017]
Werning, I. (2011) Carli [online] [IMAGE] available from <http://irinawerning.com/bttf2/back-to-the-future-2-2011/ > [12 February 2017]
Werning, I. (2012) Back To The Future [online] available from < https://vimeo.com/28051776 >[12 February 2017]
Westlake, M., Hagopian, P., Konkal, J., Royce, M., Werning, I. & Mccarthy, J. (2012) ‘Inspiration, Motivation, Celebration’. the Oprah magazine [online] 13(5), pp. 43. available from <http://search.proquest.com/docview/1113332641?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo> [15th February 2017]