Imitation of Lives: judith erwes
Imitation of Lives: Photographs of weddings that never happened
15 September - 16 October 2015
Imitation of Lives is a remarkable series of photographs and ephemera created by photographer Judith Erwes as a ‘documentary homage’ to vintage amateur wedding photographs of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The series is a result of Erwes’ ongoing fascination with family histories and amateur snapshots.
The project was made over two years and focuses on individual characters and carefully arranged visual adornments that enforce the illusion of reality. In order to recreate the kind of scenes that typified her collection of vintage snapshots Erwes used friends and acquaintances as subjects, as well as actors and complete strangers she cast in the street. She also collected authentic wedding accessories, props and flowers from a variety of sources including Ebay and flea markets. The series has been featured in the British Journal of Photography, Grafik and published as a book by Duke Press in 2010.
This showing of Imitation of Lives brings together for the first time twenty of the series original prints, shown alongside some of the wedding ephemera and vintage prints collected during the research process.
“I’m fascinated by this event that people consider to be the most important in their lives. Weddings – and wedding photographs – are big business now, but the pictures I used as my starting point are much less choreographed. The fashions, and the budgets, have changed, but the ritual remains the same.”
Judith Erwes lives and works in London. She is a volunteer at PARC where she has been cataloguing the Camerawork archive. Her publication and client list includes i-D, Next Level, Capricious, Grafik, the Guardian, The Observer and The Independent Magazine. Recent projects include Brilliant, an educational photography art book aimed at children to learn about primary colours published in 2015.
This is a Photography and the Archive Research Centre event.
Showing 15 September to 16 October 2015 at PARCspace (Room W224), University of the Arts London, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB.
Open Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-2pm and informally during each weekday.
Opening party and short talk, 1 October from 16:30 to 18:30.
For press images and to RSVP for the opening party please contact Corinne Silva: firstname.lastname@example.org