Fictitious Photographs and Filmstills from Non-existing Movies

Carine and Elisabeth Krecke’s art project explores the gap between the visible (the apparent) and the real.

After years of experience in photo-realist drawings, the twin sisters started experimenting with new techniques of drawing in combination with digital technologies in order to create a simulation of photography. This hybrid technique combining hand drawing and electronic image manipulation allowed them to create images which, at least at first sight, could be taken for photographs.

Other than the relation between drawing and photography, Carine and Elisabeth’s work critically addresses the notions of icons and idols. Thematically, their pictures recall the stereotyped idols of the twentieth century cinema and pop culture.

Sometimes they feature legendary icons –Terence Stamp, Donald Sutherland, Isabelle Adjani, Marilyn Manson, among others – but most of the time, they produce anonymous and ordinary celebrities whose names and identities escape us, but who seem totally familiar to anyone used to the Western mass media culture.

This sensation of déjà vu reinforces the photographic illusion. The images draw upon the photogenic glamour of early silent films and their mythology of vampires, the aura of the Hollywood melodramas, the masculine beauty of the film noir, the theatrical universe of Fellini, the pangs of Lynch’s nightmarish close-ups, the anxious faces of Bergman, the drag-queens of Fassbinder, the disillusioned dandies of Visconti, … but without ever alluding to a given scene or detail of an existing movie.

Most of the time, these fake filmstills appear to be extracted from non-existent, totally invented (and often obviously bad) movies, but they always seem to display the same nostalgia of a lost epoch. The aim is to just recall the ambience of these overall melancholic and incompatible universes in which nothing is what it seems.

— Text taken from the exhibition essay,
Double Gloss
Centre d’Art Nei Liicht
Dudelange, Luxemburg

This work by Carine and Elisabeth Krecke was one of three "photographic" works chosen to represent Luxembourg this year at the nightlong projection of photographs from 27 European countries at the Rencontres Festival in Arles. Paul di Felice served as curator for the selections from Luxembourg. He is an independent curator, art critic (AICA), and teacher researcher at Universite du Luxembourg.