One of the places that on my perpetual London hitlist but that I never seem to make it to is the Saatchi Gallery. The haven't typically done a lot with photography in the past but seemed to roll out the red carpet for arts of the camera this year for Out of Focus. They even teamed up with Google for a photography prize and finalists have their own exhibition space as well.
In looking at the list of who's included in the show (warning, the quanitity is overwhelming), this piece by Chris Levine caught my eye. What can I say? I'm drawn to monarchs...But anyway, in reading about the piece further, that's when things really get interesting. First of all, this is a 3-D holographic portrait - but wait until you see what it takes to make something like this:
"a process that involved an extraordinary technological array: a high-resolution digital camera which moved along a rail taking 200 images over eight seconds, a 3-D data scanner and a medium format camera which he could use, if necessary, to capture information he could texture-map onto the 3-D data sets. The queen was required to sit still for 8 seconds at a time..."
and i'm just excited if i get my f-stop right on one camera, with one lens, that doesn't move over less than 1 second. and even more interestingly:
"A picture like this would have been inconceivable even 20 years ago. The formal portrait has for some time been fraying around the edges, but now in our paparazzi culture it reads as entirely bogus. Closed eyes were reserved for great singers and musicians, who were in tune with another world; Kings, Queens and statesmen had to have their eyes open and fixed firmly on the here-and-now."
QE II sometimes got a bad rap for being unapproachable and traditional, but I don't think that's true at all (or maybe she's softened on what her legacy should constitute) and I think that's quite something that as her age, she is so open to new forms of artwork and creation. I disagree that formal portraiture is "entirely bogus" but the times and places for that are specific. I say kudos to you, QEII - you look great as a hologram in my book.