Impossible Photos of a Twin Sister Who Never Existed
Photographer Jessica Richmond and her imaginary cardboard twin take photos together.
By cutting out life-size clones of her own image, Jessica Richmond tells the story of her twin sister, Connie, who actually never existed. The New York-based photographer's desire to prototype herself comes from a childhood full of wild stories told by her family: "What began as an innocent bedtime story evolved into something that genuinely confused me as a child and was further perpetuated through my family as I aged,” Richmond tells The Creators Project—her family kept telling her stories that ranged from narratives about a twin sister to her being struck by lightning as a baby.
Thus, Richmond takes advantage of the fact that “we can’t see beyond the frame” and creates a visual displacement that makes viewers question their own sense of perception. In order to achieve the perfect lie, she uses harsh, unnatural studio strobes to flatten the layers within the frame. She also intentionally merges the studio and domestic space. “There is a hint of familiarity but at the same time the expectations of space and gravity are confounded," she explains. "I strip down the space to its most minimal parts: the walls, corners and floors are visible but do not ground the space.”
When it comes to furthering the series, Richmond says that she plans to experiment with her life-sized prototypes for decades to come (her studio has 20+ replications of herself so far). “In 20 years it will be interesting to stand next to an exact copy of my younger self. It’s definitely a unique and freaky method of self-documentation,” she adds.
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