Lost Memories, or Patrice's bathroom dolls
Lost Memories, or its second title: Pat's bathroom dolls is a series I did in 1997, and its the last series working with the 11-pinhole camera.
I had chosen 1997 as my blue year spending time in France and later in Spain for photographing and doing Cyanotype printing. I always liked the colour, but found the blue far too attractive and usually covering the content of what the image is about too much with the beauty of the blue. So 1997 was my final year for the Cyanotypes.
After working a lot and almost exclusively on nature I saw my friends collection of old and broken dolls out of porcelain that he kept in his bathroom as decoration. They were all found on flee markets and so the original owners did not like them anymore.
What I wanted to do was a cubist like portrait, combining shots from different sides, very close to the doll's face together for a split portrait. really working on the ideas of cubism. I am specially happy with the blue colour in this series as the blue has a different depth in the background than a black print. Blue is still infinite, whereas black usually has the character of ending.
All photographs were taken in the fantastic sunshine of South of France in Provence in the garden of my friend. I just installed a little tabletop and placed the dolls in front of the camera. The tricky thing shooting with 11-pinholes on such a composition were 2 things. First of all I had to enlarge the focal length of the camera, so the single shots would not be aside of each other but the overlapping parts would become bigger and more important for the final image. All series before had half of the focal length and the overlapping zones were maybe 10 % of each projected circle. Now the overlapping zones became 50-80%. The second challenge was the composition. I wanted to create a "real" face or head, through cubist single parts. But please remember every shot is upside down and left right opposite. Till today I think this is one of the biggest intellectual challenges to previsualise the single shots, or better the movement of the camera in front of the doll's face. (From an E-Mail interview with Anthony Turpin 2012)