As much as you can debate the effects of digital photography on the medium, there will always be something intoxicating about a photograph. A literal snapshot of your former self on a day that now exists only in memory is a potent catalyst for the rush of recollections transported through time.
In Feist’s new video for “Bittersweet Melodies” off last year’s stellar Metals, she uses Argentine photographer Irina Werning’s Back to the Future series to highlight the conflicting nostalgia within old photos – the easy pull back into the past against our hard-fought present sense of self. Werning recreates old photos using the same subjects in the same places with startling accuracy, that operate on our knee-jerk reactions when seeing them – how we try to reconcile the people they were with who they’ve become, and subconsciously write those stories quickly in between.
First just frozen stills that give way to spurts of moving images peeking out, like memories that slowly, eventually come to life, it questions whether the rosy ways we choose to remember the past are figments of our imagination when tested against the present. The song and slides meld together like a careful symphony to create a new dialogue outside of the conversation that either held on their own. It’s an effective collaboration between music and photography to reassert the fact that art is art is art. Check out Irina Werning’s page for more from the series.