The lone protester in Tiananmen Square, the Hindenberg Disaster and Nessie – the common element between all of these significant scraps of history is that the moments have been captured by resourceful (and sometimes ‘hoaxing’) photographers. This scope of visual documentation transforms such parcels of time into iconic moments that can be celebrated among future generations of human kind. However, Switzerland-based photographers Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger have taken a different route of venerating these iconic photos – they have created miniature scales (called the ‘Icons’ Project) that capture the essence of the photographs in all their dynamic glory. The end results are breathtakingly accurate at best, and quite impressive in the least.
Interestingly, the miniature sets and props were built by just using regular materials like paper, cement and tiny toy-like models (of mostly vehicles and buildings). The other crucial part of this miniature ‘Icons’ Project is that the designers intentionally tried to avoid using human models – that could interfere with the viewer’s “suspension of disbelief”. And in spite of this preference for inanimate ‘icons’, each of the props were painstakingly arranged after weeks of crafting and positioning. As the photographers make it clear –
It is much easier to reconstruct a tank than to recreate a human. We often work with models of tanks, cars, airplanes. Sometimes we make alterations to existing models (“Concorde”), sometimes we make our own (“Tiananmen”, “The Last Photo of the Titanic Afloat,” “Lakehurst”). The background and settings are also carefully recreated by hand. It is important to chose the right material: e.g., we use cement in order to imitate sand. We often use paper (“Olympia München” and “9/11”). It is essential is to put the camera in the right position, chose the right angle and never move it until the work is done. Sometimes it takes one or two days to recreate a picture (“Nessie”), sometimes two or three weeks (“Tiananmen”). The project is on-going, in the future we would like to make it into a book.
1) La cour du dumaine du Gras, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, 1826
2) The Wright Brothers, John Thomas Daniels, 1903
3) Nessie, Marmaduke Wetherell, 1934
4) The Hindenburg Disaster, Sam Shere, 1937
5) 208-N-43888, Charles Levy, 1945
6) AS11-40-5878, Edwin Aldrin, 1969
7) Tiananmen, Stuart Franklin, 1989
8) Rhein II, Andreas Gursky, 1999
9) Concorde, Toshihiko Sato, 2000
Via: Bird In Flight