Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Simone Lueck

Simone Lueck

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Simone Lueck: The Once and Future Queens

Artist's Statement:

I am fascinated with the extant performance that is played out through the ceremonies and rituals of every day life. For the past year, I have been making pictures of women posing as glamorous movie stars. The series, The Once and Future Queens, includes pictures of individuals who answered an online ad soliciting older women to pose as glamorous movie stars:

Seeking fabulous, striking, interesting older woman to pose as a glamorous movie star for photo series. Please submit a photo and describe how you would pose as a glamorous movie star. There is no pay, but images will be provided. All types will be considered. Thank you! (Craigslist post, 2009)

The pictures are collaborations: Each participant is asked to provide her own makeup, hair and wardrobe. As active players in the affair, the women are able to shape their individual portrayal.


- Francine found a vintage Bob Mackie at a second hand store in Burbank. The shiny gold gown was allegedly once worn by Linda Evans on Dynasty.


- Claudia wanted to shoot in the park; she said she would like to pose as Gina Lollobridgida. She brought a blond faux fur coat to stretch out on and donned a matching blond wig.


- Mara bathed in a bath of bubbles at her home in Rancho Cucamonga (a glamour bath a la Brigitte Bardot).


The shows are fantasies, and the performance reflects each woman's perception of glamour. Through these private exhibitions, a culture of faded glamour emerges. The women are understood to be motivated by the desire to perform, as though this essential desire had been left idle and unfulfilled. While posing as a glamorous movie star, each woman is, for a moment, fulfilling her fantasy.


In addition to glamour shots, the series includes captured moments where the participant is doing something and is unaware of the camera. These pictures add context and provide distance from the fantasy and a more spontaneous and natural look at the women in their chosen environment.

The series reveals parallel worlds where fantasy may be the reality, where desires remain unfulfilled, and where faded glamour is glowing, harsh and beautiful.

Simone Lueck

Images and text found here.

28 comments:

E said...

Oh there's something very Edward Scissorhands-esque about these glamorized cougars in surreal suburban settings - very disconcerting. And I like it. I bet these ladies would be a Hell of a lot of fun to day drink with.

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

Can't put my finger on exactly why, but these pictures make me scared to get old. :(

// S said...

there is something so intimate & vulnerable about these images.
ha! and i agree with e -- day drinking with these lovelies would be a blast :)

Char said...

i think it's interesting what everyone's perception of glamour is...and it's not that the ladies are older, but somehow i'm somewhat appalled at how harsh they look. odd and bothersome to me because i'm not ageist. hmmmm

but isn't that art? the thinking?

TERI REES WANG said...

Our days remain exciting how eve old, where ever we go, our mind roams.

Dancing Branflake said...

So interesting. It's a little harsh on the eyes because of its purpose of being glamorous but at the same time knowing it's not like what you would see in a magazine.

Iva said...

I'm torn on these. Artistically I can totally see it. I get it. And a huge part of me is really happy to see someone be given the opportunity to be, for a 'moment, fulfilling her fantasty'. But a huge part of me also does see that those are unfulfilled dreams, chasing and hoping and holding on to something...but what is that something? and why as women do we feel that something else other then EXACTLY who we are and what we have, is more glamorous.

and Craigslist is clearly the go to for ads huh?? lol!

Melanie's Randomness said...

I love this idea. We all can't be famous or put in the spotlight but everyone young or old should get the chance to feel like Queen for the day whoever you are. The one lady in the hallway with the cat glasses is my favorite!

brittany said...

i love this. my take is that looks fade. all of the fashionistas of today will age--even with botox and plastic surgery.

~KS said...

I am a weirdo... of all of these great images, I am smitten with the pillow case in the first one.

bananas. said...

Oh yea...i am determined to be one of those fabulous older woman adorned in leopard. This will be me in 30+ years. Ha!

Brooke said...

Desperate Housewives gone horribly wrong! Haha...They do make you look twice (or three times), however.

Cheryl said...

Harsh and beautiful, that sums up her work perfectly. It's jarring at first to see these women in poses your used to seeing younger women pose in. And yet, why not?

Her work is kinda similar to my goth series. Her artist statement gives me a few good ideas...

Caroline said...

OMG...brilliant!!! The lady in the pink looks like Liz Taylor...I had to do a double take. They all look like they live in Palm Springs too! GAWD...I have to look at these again. See...this is why I LOVE photography!!!

...love Maegan said...

um, these are phenomenal.

Down and Out Chic said...

definitely a harsh portrayal of fantasy meeting reality. it makes me think about how different we see ourselves vs. how other people see us.

The Zhush said...

woo...very thought provoking stuff. (And then there is Heidi peaking at me from yesterday's post as I type this...Hmmmm.) This post makes me feel snarky and sad and ambivalent all at once! When does that ever happen?!

Cristin said...

Confused at first, then intrigued, then scared shitless.

Heather Taylor said...

One of these women reminds me of my grandma. The one in the pink holding the dog. Kind of creeps me out.

Haute World said...

I'm intrigued by the idea behind this. They kind of remind me of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun video (sans the exaggerated smiley faces). Slightly disturbing but utterly fascinating at the same time...

Kathryn said...

It is art because it makes you looks and it provokes thoughts. It is interesting how many people found this harsh and disturbing. I blame the youth centered media for conditioning us that women are almost asexual beings and should only pose in a business suits or rockin Mom jeans. Why should an average woman dressing up and posing be disturbing? God willing, we will all live enough to grow old.

Susan Erickson said...

It's just so contrived....so, "whatever happened to baby jane," spooky....

Farah said...

...strangely scary....

Jill said...

#11 is almost like looking into a "scary future mirror"!

Claire Kiefer said...

These are pretty amazing. They're like a beautiful grotesque, almost. I love 'em!

Asylum Dolly said...

wow! I love the whole collaboration idea. It makes the photos more authentic- even though it is about glamour and fantasy. I don't find these images "scary" like some of the commenters have. They are all quite tasteful and dignified- with just enough humour. I like!

Kitty Stampede said...

These are AWESOME! I love this kind of photography!!!! It makes me want to put an ad asking for something weirdly random to take photos of...hehehe...genius!

executive training said...

These photos are gorgeous! I love them so much. They are full of positive feelings but still they have some sadness in them.