Irina Werning is a SuperGenius photographer who has found her niche.  She looks for old photographs and then updates the images years later by re-staging them with the same people in the images while simultaneously preserving the tone and substance of the original shot.

Here is Irina’s self-prescribed mandate for the project:

I love old photos. I admit being a nosey photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today… A few months ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future.

2010 ONGOING PROJECT… by the way, this project made me realise Im [sic] a bit obsessive…

Looking for subjects in NY, Boston (May) and Europe (June). Drop me an email if you live there and would like to take part…

The project is amazing in its detail and melancholia.  You look at the people then and then you wonder about their now.  How far have they really traveled in a hiccough in time in which they are, once again, suspended in amber before our eyes in a twisted sensation of reverse time travel?

These photos ask us to evaluate who we used to be and what we have become.  Do we value the same totems?  Are we so unlike our original selves that we risk becoming a mask over our previous lifetimes?  How many years must pass before the child is unrecognizable in the adult — even in a direct reproduction of time and space and temperature?

The sensation of melancholia is overwhelming as you page through the faces and their memories become your reality.  We can never race far from who we were or ever erase what we want to be.  There are always the telltale breadcrumb signs we leave behind for the tasting — and Irina Werning has provided us a feast.


  1. I have seen some great photographic series like this. One of my favorite is a set of three women at a kitchen table, followed by the same three women years later with the first photo hung behind them, followed by the same women even later with the second photo behind them. I haven’t the link anymore but it was brilliant.

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