Photographer Irina Werning approaches nostalgia in a very different way from other artists. Instead of trying to capture the aesthetic of a time or its certain social implications, Werning asked her subjects to “go back to the future.” Doc Brown is quivering somewhere.
Aptly titled “Back to the Future”, Werning showcases her subject at a certain point in their childhood and she asks them to recreate it as adults. The results are amusing and endearing. Not only do we, the audience, respond to the hilarious positions, clothes or appearances of the subjects, but our metaphorical heart strings are ever tugged by the rapidity of time and where our lives go. Once we were awkward, gangly pre-teens with a snaggletooth and large glasses and now we’re all responsible adults with perfect teeth. The juxtaposition of child and adult is very moving. The powerfulness these photos hold lies in what the adult looks like now. I dare you to look at these pictures and not feel emotionally attached to the child on the left when you see the adult version on the right.
Werning tries to capture the true, raw feeling of these photos in their recreation and it works beautifully because the subject is intrinsically connected to those emotions.
By: Sarah MacDonald