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‘Double Exposure’ reveals two facets of each individual subject. Firstly, personal insights captured on film, via some treasured possessions relating to memories and stories. The second is a photographic exposure brought to life in a uniquely sophisticated portrait. Inspired by Louis Vuitton’s belief in embracing the contemporary and avant-garde, whilst respecting and supporting authentic craftsmanship, the project invites cultural innovators and creative leaders: artists, filmmakers, and performers to sit for an individual portrait using the 19th century collodion wet plate photographic process.
Amidst the frenetic hustle and bustle of the modern consumer landscape one of the key creative objectives for Louis Vuitton was to slow things down, and take a moment to capture the true essence of the sitter, in order to create something that was unique, exclusive and timeless. In an ‘on-demand’ digital age where new images are created faster and more frequently than ever before, ‘Double Exposure’ was envisioned and commissioned by Louis Vuitton as a counterbalance to today’s disposable media culture. This age old photographic process is a luxurious and languid medium that depicts time standing still.
The mercurial collodion process requires the sitter to hold a pose for 12 seconds, engaging both the subject and the viewer, with the resulting image being at once strong, intense, captivating and ethereal. Of the experience Thandie Newton says, “The images really take you into the heart of history itself. To parallel that we’re getting into the history of me through the items I’ve chosen. One of the things about these photographs is the layers of meaning. Each picture is so unique so it just creates this desire to be my most essential self.”
In addition to the bespoke photographic wet plate images – each of which is a ‘one off’, ‘Double Exposure’ also documents the sitter with some of their most treasured personal objects. Once again these possessions are emotional anchors reflecting a poignant antidote to the transient world that so often surrounds us.
In this second ‘Double Exposure’, Thandie Newton shares an intimate and diverse collection of belongings, including a touching object created by her eldest daughter Ripley, a painting from her childhood which symbolises iconic memories from her youth and her passport – a vital component to Thandie’s life and career.
The film also outlines a thoughtful value system that shows us that luxury objects do not have to hold significant monetary value in order to be priceless to their owner. The importance of personalisation and provenance are also clearly evident as the films convey a rare insight into some of the sitter’s inner thoughts and memories.
The films and images from the second ‘Louis Vuitton Double Exposure’ with Thandie Newton will be distributed from September and accessible via worldwide social media networks and online platforms.
Louis Vuitton Double Exposure goes live on the Louis Vuitton Facebook page on Sept 8th 2011: