The Past is a Very Weird Country in these Manipulated Photos

Email a Friend
<em>Innocence</em> by Jane Long

There’s a tendency, when we view photographs of people who are no longer of this world, to project our imaginations onto their lives. Australian photographer and artist Jane Long has done just that, digitally colorizing and manipulating the glass plate photos of Costică Acsinte, a Romanian documentary photographer whose work dates back to World War I. But Long takes that impulse several steps farther, into the uncanny. Where most colorization simply aims to update a photo’s subjects, Long transplants them to an entirely fantastical — yet strangely familiar — universe in a series she calls Dancing with Costică.

Costică Acsinte's original photo used in Jane Long's Innocence

 

Left: Tînără (1940) by Costică Acsinte, Right: Beacon by Jane Long

Long's creations possess a Seussian playfulness, while also feeling like unnerving fever dreams. Either way, Long has done aspiring photo-manipulation artists a service by making videos of her process. The results are absorbing to watch. Long's work will be on display at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Australia from August 22 to September 20, 2015. But if you can't make it to Australia, scroll down to see more before and after images of her work.

 

Left: Image from the Costică Ascinte Archive, Right: The Idea Farm by Jane Long

 

Left: Image from the Costică Ascinte Archive, Right: Tall Poppies by Jane Long

 

Left: Image from the Costică Ascinte Archive, Right: All Hands on Deck by Jane Long

 

Left: Circari by Costică Acsinte, Right: The Juggling Act by Jane Long

 

Left: Image from the Costică Ascinte Archive, Right: Singalong by Jane Long

(h/t designboom.)