Sunday, 4 January 2015

On the 11th Day of Christmas ...

... this blogger gave to thee ...
... eleven genetics portraits ...
... ten flight jackets ...
... nine ceramic sculptures ...
... eight film night picks ...
... seven shoes to choose from ...
... six party frocks ...
... five gold rings! ...
... four private spaces ...
... three things unfired ...
... two little birds ...
... and a corner shop made of felt.

Some things really can't be denied, who you're related too is one of them. When patients at work find out I'm my parents daughter, I get told I look like both of them. Never at the same time and more often than not the decision which I look more like comes down to whether I have my hair straight or curly and whether I've currently got a full fringe or not.

Personally, I don't think I look like either of them that much and as for my sisters... no denying it.

(I'm watching Bambi as I , and that infamous moment, yep, I'm in tears... this is definitely a family trait.)

Sometimes it's a comfort to know how alike we are, sometimes it's traumatizing. But whether it's the way you look or all those little quirks and personality traits that none of you notice any more, there is usually something that links families together and usually it takes an outsider to notice.

An outsider like self taught photographer and art director, Ulric Collette.

Sœer/Frère: Ismaëlle, 12 ans and Nathan, 11 ans 
(Sister/Brother: Ismaëlle, 12 years and Nathan, 11 years)
Jumelles: Laurence and Christine, 25 ans
(Twins: Laurence and Christine, 25 years)
Frères: Christophe, 30 ans and Ulric, 29 ans
(Brothers, Christophe, 30 years and Ulric, 29 years)
Quebec based Collette never intended to made such an extensive collection of spliced images, but instead during another image editing project. Accidentally combining a photograph of himself and his then seven year old son, Nathan, he realised that this was a very effective way to show the similarities between different members of the same family and find where the resemblances were most obvious. The above of Collette and brother Christoph being particularly striking even to the artist.

The reaction to the project never ceases to surprise me,” he says. “A few of the ones I'm in shocked me – me and my brother Christophe, for example, we totally look the same!” (BBC, 2013)
Grand-mère/Petite-fille: Ginette, 61 ans and Ismaëlle, 12 ans
(Grandmother/Grandaughter: Ginette, 61 years and Ismaëlle, 12 years)
Jumelles: Laurence and Christine, 20 ans
(Twins: Laurence and Christine, 20 years)
Frères: Eric, 29 ans and Dany, 31 ans
(Brothers: Eric, 29 and Dany, 31)
It isn't as simple a process as you would expect. It's not just a case of taking two existing portraits and splicing them together in Photoshop. As with most photography, Collette needs to take multiple images of each subject and even the environment in which each is taken needs to be controlled in order to create two photographs which while individual enough can be closely enough matched to edit together well.

Each need seamlessly blend into one another to create a flawless image, which, with some if you skimmed too quickly by the image, you'd almost be fooled into thinking they were just another portrait.

Fille/Mère: Marilène, 35 ans and Réjeanne, 64 ans
(Daughter/Mother: Marilène, 35 years and Réjeanne, 64 years)
Fille/Mère: Marie-Pier, 18 ans and N'sira, 49 ans
(Daughter/Mother: Marie-Pier, 18 years and N'sira, 49 years)
Cousine/Cousin: Justine, 29 ans and Ulric, 29 ans
(Cousins: Justine, 29 years and Ulric, 29 years)
Jumeaux: Alexa and Sandrine, 20 ans
(Twins: Alex and Sandrine, 20 years)
Fille/Mère: Marie-Andrée, 55 ans and Claudette, 81 ans
(Daughter/Mother: Marie-Andrée, 55 years and Claudette, 81 years)

Father to son; mother to daughter; brother to sister; grandmother to grandchild; twin to twin; or cousin to cousin, the genetic markers which create a family aren't always instantly noticeable. Even over the seven years (2008-2014) that Collette has been creating this Genetic Portraits, portraits since as that of Justine and himself (No.9) have been repeated, the portraits with his children Nathan and Ismaelle have been repeated and with each of the subjects ageing by just a few years, the familiar similarities have become more apparent.

You can't disguise those seemingly individual parts of your appearance which make up your family... not without a bit of pain and a lot of money. In fact it's quite often one of the first judgements we make on babies when we see them, he has your eyes! She has your nose! Oh my god they're the spitting image of Uncle Bulgaria when he was ninety-two and began looking like a potato!

It's what we do as human beings, we look for similarities to latch upon for familiarity. You can't stops that age or a slightly different hairstyle, will provokes a different conclusion as to which member of your family you look most like, even if you do have a preference. But you're made by two people, who were made by another four, who were made of another eight and so on and so forth...

... you're completely individual, but you're sure as hell made up of a lot of weirdoes.

Link | Ulric Collete Website
Link | Ulric Collette: Genetic Portraits
Link | Ulric Collette's 'Genetic Portraits' Depict Striking Family Resemblance via Huffington Post
Link | BBC - Future - 'Genetic Portraits' offer view of family resemblance via BBC

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas. Part twelve tomorrow...
Listening: To Build A Home - The Cinematic Orchestra

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