In her images of Sloane and her mother, Lise Sarfati looks at the relationship between mother and child through their shared love of dramatic dress - a kind of motherand child 'partnerlook' as the Germans so precisely put it. Here is a piece I did for the lovely Gomma Magazine (next edition in Autumn 2008 or thereabouts, possibly).
Four years ago, Lise Sarfati was travelling across America to photograph teenagers for her New Life series. One of Sarfati’s most successful New Life subjects was Sloane, a chameleon-like teenager from Berkeley, California. Inspired by her New Life series, Sarfati returned to the United States to focus on the relationship between Sloane and her mother.
One image from the series (titled Mother and Daughter ) shows Sloane outside a suburban house. She looks down, away from the camera, her heavily made-up face further disguised by the veil of hair that surrounds her. Sloane is the daughter, but what kind of daughter is she - her face is a mask that expresses no emotion and reveals nothing except a slightly eerie suburbanised beauty. The effect is compounded by other images - Sloane in big glasses in a frilly necked red dress, Sloane by a book shelf, her face a picture of disinterest and boredom, and Sloane in her bedroom wearing the kind of dress that Loretta Lux’s otherworldly children would die for. Sloane almost struggles under the weight of wigs, cosmetics and costumes she wears.
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images copyright - Lise Sarfati