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Now and Then

By February 18, 2011Uncategorized

The other day my husband’s friend Jamie sent a link to a beautiful photo project called “Back to the Future.” Buenos Aires-based photographer Irina Werning has taken a series of portraits in which her subjects re-enact a photograph from their childhood. The resulting diptychs are completely enthralling, poignant and funny.

As I looked through the photos, I kept thinking of my eldest son (who recently turned 10!) and the fact that we sometimes share clothes and how bizarre it is when puny humans become larger humans. What aspects of ourselves remain constant? What changes? Some days I feel like the ten-year-old I once was is largely intact—she is just one among many sheaths of ‘me’.

I love how precisely Irina has captured the expressions and moods of her subjects. I love the very idea of “re-doing” awkward and ill-dressed childhood moments as a kind of existential yardstick. I am in awe of Irina on a formal level but what really keeps me looking is the way her portraits seem to point towards the unseen story, how the external sameness piques my curiosity about internal shifts in her subjects lives. (Does Cecile, shown above in the white T-shirt, still have the same moxy and confidence she once did? Have the Morita sisters, below, retained their sisterly bond and taste for smock frocks?)

To see more from the series, please click through to Irina’s (very fun) website:

p.s. Happy Birthday Nancy! How about re-staging one of our old pics?