I will be basing my shoots on the 1987 film Mannequin (along with its akin sequel Mannequin Two: On The Move). This film involves a guy falling in love with a mannequin that comes to life. Instead of drawing results from the noticeably mundane 80s clothing (as shown above in the posters), I’m going to focus on the notion of a human crossing over into the form of a mannequin; a figure that resembles both that of a flesh-baring human and a plastic mannequin. This doesn’t necessarily contest to the premise of catalogue fashion photography but in terms of contemporary fashion photography, I think it certainly does. With contemporary fashion photography the objective is not to sell clothes or even necessarily depict clothes – essentially there is no objective with regards to the content of the image itself; only the context and positioning will categorise it to be so. It is not uncommon for a photographer of such a kind to be criticising the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or even behaviour – in this instance, I am. The extent to which we mould our physical appearance in relation to a man-made recreation of the human form (mannequin) is relatively interesting, especially with the cosmetic sculpturing that can be done so deftly and painlessly these days. I want to take this fascination to an extremity of some kind by displaying a subtle crossover over between the desirable look of a mannequin and the unenviable flesh that one already bares.
Above is a still from the film…a still that tantalises my deepest senses. The significance of this image is way too complicated to analyse and explain within this brief, but I do want to emulate its implications somehow. As I’m approaching this from a slightly more abstract angle, I might reverse the attraction with the mannequin admiring the human – something explored in a brilliant episode of The Twilight Zone.
The After Hours is an episode of the show in which a bunch of store-mannequins lust for the experience of human life. Although this is a TV show, I will also base the shoots on the notion of this (including the late-50s clothing and the black and white colour-format).