I’ve long been a fan of Jo Teeuwisse’s Ghosts of History project, where she overlays present-day locations with old archive photographs. I’m also a big fan of the recent trend where contemporary artists insert monsters and pop culture icons into thrift store paintings. In that same trend, while researching my current chapter, I came across the image series ‘Dancing with Costică’, in which Australian artist Jane Long borrows from the recently-digitised archive of Romanian photographer Costică Acsinte to create her own series of images.
Long colorises and digitally alters Acsinte’s photographs, transforming these already-beautiful portraits into something surreal and often vaguely unsettling:
Some of the revised images also have poignant undertones, and make clear allusion to events that occurred after the original photographs were taken, as in ‘tall poppies’, which depicts a number of soldiers against a backdrop of poppies, a flower used to commemorate soldiers who have died in war. In this way, Long imbues old images with new meaning:
Head on over to Jane Long’s website for more images in the series, and feel free to share your thoughts about these images (and their revision of historical documents) in the comments!
(all images © Jane Long, 2015)
One thought on “Giving the Past a Photographic Afterlife”
In relation to photographic afterlives, the trilogy by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City and Library of Souls) makes intriguing use of old photographs (albeit without modifying the photos themselves). I read the first book, the story is a bit youngish (early young adult) but the interaction between text and photographs is really intriguing.