Ulric Collette

It’s become clear that unlike the photographers that have explored transgender I do not want to photograph or film my subjects naked. Instead I want to show them as they are but keep their full identity ambiguous. I want to cut up their face and do close up shots, so the audience never sees their full face or body in one frame. I wondered if I could do a mash up of the individuals face as a child and now, an idea inspired by Ulric Collette.

Ulric Collette, from Quebec, Canada, is a self-taught photographer who creates surreal portraits by morphing separate images together. Without the technologies available today, Collette, I feel, wouldn’t be able to create images of such high visual and convincing calibre. This echoes what we’ve been exploring throughout Phonar. One must take advantage of all technologies and mediums available to create a truly compelling and current piece. His work reminded me of our lectures on mash ups and remixes, which is a very current and modern day. Many artists and photographers have morphed images together to form new things, so I thought it could be interesting as a final piece potentially.

Collette’s work takes the idea of ‘mash up’ to a whole new level. His final creations are truly alluring and it’s all thanks to technology. His work beholds a fun outcome of experimenting with technological advances and exploring different ideas in relation to ‘mash up’. I am particularly interested in his series, ‘Genetic Portraits’ which highlights how when it comes to facial features, it’s all in the genes. Collette created images of family members’ faces spliced together, something I too have explored with using old family photographs. Collette’s results are startling and eye opening. It’s strange how similar some family member’s features are.

I also like Collette’s series, ‘Façade’ in which people display both a neutral expression and a hidden emotion in one composite image. Viewing a person in such a way is thought provoking…would it be possible to see all sides of one person in one image?

I really love the idea of mash up and morphing images together and have been really enjoying remixing things throughout Phonar. I have always been interested in family histories and genetics, which is why I have split separate family photographs together in past projects. As an experiment I created some morphed images of myself and two others. I may create images like this of my subjects also but as it stands I’m leaning toward creating a video.

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