* It took me two years to put this photo story into reality. It has been captured in my mind for a long time, but I waited for the right moment, as I always do. Few months ago I decided it is time to finally start to practice makeup, because I wanted this to be a real transformation. As all of you already know, these pictures are not realism (although I am a fan of spontaneous moments hunters, such as Diane Arbus, Sarah Moon, Alfred Stieglitz...to name just a few), these photos are characters, like in the theatre, so I always have a lot of preparation to do, but that is the path I have chosen to follow. I thought a lot about putting some other people in front of the camera instead, but in the end I decided not to, because of the same reason - to stay true to my initial idea from almost six years ago. There is this great joy when emotion which I want to convey through photo (it is always about the emotion!) somehow complements with physical transformation in great harmony, which happens so rare, like a great moment of magic. In the end, I am also a hunter, there is no certainty, never. In those moments it doesn't matter if my work is a marvelous success, or wasted effort in the eyes of others, because deep down I suddenly know that it all make sense. And then, the moment after, I am not sure anymore and I go hunting again, because, as Sarah Moon said in her video about process, and I know it by heart: "...I cant stop finding it than losing it, and all day long I ll keep on, because it once existed..."
You ask me often which photo story is my favourite, and I try to avoid diplomatic answers (they are so boring, right?)(and no, it is not like I have to choose from one of my children, I dislike that kind of morbid comparisons), so of course I have my favourite. When I say The Death Of Cordelia, everyone are shocked! But I try to stay away from being "beautiful", and put all my effort into struggle to uprise those persons which I embody, make them alive, make them speak silently about what is like to be a human, what a burden life can be, or a magnificent joy; I try to touch profound subjects without need to explain too much (what I am...hm...actually doing right now), and to speak language which is not "mine" or "yours", or "theirs", because there is no such distinguish in art, in music...
Initially I thought a lot about Katharine Hepburn, about famous YSL suit, about historical scene in Jules et Jim when Jeanne Moreau races with the boys with her fake mustaches, about Renée Vivien in her tailcoat, about unforgettable Garbo in Ninotchka...but the only thing I have found there was a great femininity!
So I gave up.
But then...Well, I hardly take "no" as an answer when it comes to my ideas, so I knew I had to evoke my male energy and make this happen. And I have a great deal of a male energy, which might be the reason why some females are in love with me (and they are open about it, strange, right?), and some males are frightened (I wish they were not! I don't know anyone more sensitive and closed than myself, although it sometimes seems opposite on the very first sight). I rarely find inspiration in anything contemporary, but the world (just as humans) is full of contradictions, so if you want to reach light, you have to know the dark; if you want black, be familiar with white...So I thought a little bit about actresses today. Of course, two names always come up when it comes to our business, and those are Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett, and I agree they are extraordinary, like the perfect school examples, and much more. But for me personally, french actresses have some different kind of naturalness which leaves me in certainty that the cameras are off, that I am a voyeur, or at least that the film was taken in one single shot without cut, and I am watching the very first take. It is weird, but that kind of spontaneous creativity which also means shortcomings (in life we are not hundred percent believable in every single moment) is something which never makes their performance furnished to the camera to its full potential, but rather unbelievably relaxed; and is something what makes Isabelle Adjani, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Huppert, Sophie Marceau, Anouk Aimée, Françoise Dorléac, Charlotte Rampling, Juliette Binoche, Emanuelle Riva...(to name just a few) in my eyes, whole category beyond Hollywood actresses.
That said, I named my man Gerard, I wanted him to have that kind of french chic, but he turned out more like Sicilian, so I bought him cigar, crossed his name in Giacomo, and adjust him put-up attitude.
And it turned out like a good decision, because I am way too small and skinny for a male, so I compensated it with strong attitude: I made him an arrogant poseur, narcissistic gigolo (like the one I would never fall for); I left behind everything I love about french cinema and embraced...I dont know what...I simply made a face in the mirror, the same one Julietta Masina made in the famous Fellinis Nights of Cabiria, and asked: "Whats it gonna be, Mr. Mustache?"
I wanted Karmen to do this with me as my partner in crime, not only because she is super talented young lady with great sensibility and intelligent approach to what she is doing with her camera, but also because I wanted this masculine story to have complete feminine signature.
So I chose my hall and my attic for the location, borrowed clothes from my brother and my father, and asked Karmen to come over.
I remember her sitting in my bathroom, on the edge of my bathtub, watching me in the mirror (I was just starting to do my complete makeup with one little brush, and just one brown shade of eyeshadow) and whispering in great despair: "No, no way, this wont work, I wont shoot this, this will look amateur, are you completely crazy? You cant do this all by yourself...".
But I did.
Thank you Karmen for trusting me in the end. And we had so much fun during this shooting. I hope you will enjoy these photos as much as we enjoyed doing them.
And what about my masculine side? Oh, it is still here, doubtless, but of course I let my femininity win in the end:
I have put my gentleman in jail!
(click on the image if you dont want to scroll)
Initial Inspiration - here
Photo and processing - Karmen Poznić
Styling, hair, makeup, location - me