Skip

We have to fail – there is no return in time.
August 29, 2012 5:37 AM   Subscribe

Growth is a project in which I reconstructed and re-photographed pictures that my dad took of me and my three little sisters when we were children. I tried to make the new photograph look as similar as possible to the old one: the place and the composition are the same, and so are our positions and facial expressions. - Wilma Hurskainen

"I have always been very attracted by the photograph´s ability to cross time and create this kind of comparisons. There is something sad, almost tragic, about looking at old photographs compared to new ones and seeing how people and things have changed or grown up. After all, it is said that time has been accepted as a common means of measuring life because people are not able nor willing to see the change in themselves. In the pictures it seems as if we were trying to go back to our childhood by adopting the same position towards each other and the photographer´s/spectator´s gaze but we unavoidably fail. We have to fail – there is no return in time."
Favorites include (linked above):

- Birthday cake
- Christmas Holiday
- Family Portrait
- Gnomes
- In the Bathtub
- Pencil Sweaters
- Skiing

[via]
posted by quin (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would not have guessed you could get 4 adult humans into a single bathtub.
posted by DU at 5:49 AM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know if I like the fact that the littlest sister turned out to be the tallest one later, or if the effect is jarring. Either way, I notice it each time.
posted by Curious Artificer at 5:54 AM on August 29, 2012


These are nice but I also feel like I've seen this project (in one form or another) about a dozen times before. Granted, this version has an artist's statement attached, but still ...
posted by barnacles at 6:01 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Recreating the expressions is a nice touch, yet upsetting in a way. The one little girl is almost always caught with that typical-for-the-age "unamused" face in the old pics, which translates into a somewhat glum/semi-depressed expression in the new pics. It's kind of sad.

Overall, though, these turned out quite nice.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:04 AM on August 29, 2012


Despite myself I find these quite charming. Fair play that they agreed to the Bathtub photo, no way I'd get into a bath with my brother and sister.
posted by Elmore at 6:07 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Irina Werning is probably the most popular form of this. However, I enjoy the softness and the whimsey of Wilma's photographs.
posted by pashdown at 6:08 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


but I also feel like I've seen this project (in one form or another) about a dozen times before

I've seen it done on reddit about a dozen times, where this technique of re-shooting old snapshots was briefly a meme. I was thinking that this idea wasn't very original, but then it occurred to me that maybe this photographer came up with the idea first.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:09 AM on August 29, 2012


I would not have guessed you could get 4 adult humans into a single bathtub.

Some people just don't live right, I guess.
posted by mhoye at 6:09 AM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


My favorite of this genre is a superimposed then-and-now shot on Shorpy.
posted by Longtime Listener at 6:12 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed all the different locations they've got to. I'm looking at my flickr stream now and there's lots of potential for my kids. Kinda gives me a warm fuzzy for later.
posted by lysdexic at 6:18 AM on August 29, 2012


This might be a little tired, but the subject matter (four little, adorable Finnish girls and beautiful young women in interesting settings) is appealing, so I'm another that likes it in spite of myself. And the grandfather photo was just heartbreaking.
posted by peacrow at 7:02 AM on August 29, 2012


That Irina Werning link is great but also very slightly NSFW. It's just one topless woman in an artistic context, but if you've got a draconian boss, there's your warning.
posted by pracowity at 7:03 AM on August 29, 2012


Shame she didn't use a lens with the same focal length for the modern shots as was used in the vintage shots: the reconstructions seem cramped by comparison (and not just because the people are bigger).
posted by Omission at 8:03 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the photographer had directed her sisters, as though they were actors, and really tried to explore their emotions as little girls, and gotten them in the same frame of mind, I think these photos would have been far more successful. As it is now, they're just aping their previous expressions.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:24 AM on August 29, 2012


Cute and Funny, but then again I have 3 sisters myself.
We did the same thing with a christmas photo, (40 years) but there are intenet shy folk who don't want it online.

Interesting note, In the Christmas photo I saw the little black baby and thought "Europeans"
(yes, I'm black, and well travelled)
posted by djrock3k at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2012


Fair play that they agreed to the Bathtub photo, no way I'd get into a bath with my brother and sister.

Finnish families sauna together, a lot.
posted by infini at 9:43 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The oldest (and for my money best) implementation of this kind of photo retro-recreation that I've seen was the Ze Frank youngmenowme blog. There are currently 44 pages of pictures, and the oldest submission I can find dates back to March 26th 2010 and is titled: 'buttup'

I guess there is nothing new under the sun eh?
posted by Faintdreams at 10:44 AM on August 29, 2012


My favorite part was the mother's neon red hair through the ages.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 11:04 AM on August 29, 2012


I don't know if I like the fact that the littlest sister turned out to be the tallest one later...

Cut her off at the knees! Darn those little sisters.

I love the bathtub one. Oddly enough, some of the same innocence seems to come through as their baby pic. Or maybe that's just me.

I'd like to do this with my kids, but won't annoy the intarwebs with it.

One of these days I'm going to sort pics by generation and match them up. Seems like there's many similar ones with mom as a child then her daughter playing with blocks, falling off rocking horses, sleeping in the same position, etc.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:34 PM on August 29, 2012


« Older New Dylan   |   The effects of modern mapping Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post