In Shelly’s post “The problems with Chima” she pointed out that there is a benefit, for us as still life photographers, to work with toys that have a well-known back-story. We can use them as symbols and let the back-story work for us in the picture. I try to do that in most of my pictures, because for me the roles that these figures play in my photographs are to be symbols. There is also a problem with toys with a well know back-story, in my case the problem is Star Wars.
The biggest problem with Star Wars-toys is in my view Star Wars. Yes! Star Wars! Because when you work with Star Wars–stuff people have a tendency to categorized your work as “fan-art”. And I would be fine with that if I were a big fan of Star Wars, but I’m not. I have seen the movies and know the story (not by heart). I know who is evil and who is good… But in my still life photography the star wars – universe is only one part because I use troopers as a motive, I choose them because they were available my sons had them.
I use the troopers because of their occupation, troopers are soldiers of war. And I’m kind of obsessed with the troopers helmet, it tickles me. With the helmet on you can’t see if the solider is happy or sad, if they are smiling or not? If they are women or men, if there young or old. All of this makes them like all of us, ordinary and anonymous. We don’t know anything about their persona, it’s all up to us to make up their history. And I do it together with you, through pictures… I have always wanted to tell stories about life and through the troopers I have explored if I could feel something for these soldiers by the way they move, touch each other, play, interact with one another and so on.
I’m not a big Star Wars fan, I use my troopers as dolls to tell stories about my life, our life and the ordinary life that we live. But when people look at my pictures they see “Star Wars”. Even though I want to tell stories about ordinary people, myths or fairy tales. For me the biggest problem with Star Wars is Star Wars.
What do you think?