Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons creates more ephemeral pieces of work of things that would only last seconds. In this way, she uses photography as a tool rather than to use it to record, as a photographer would. Simmons process is chaotic and would often find her studio in complete tatters, but the photographs would be a juxtaposition of this. The photographs show a world where people would enter a place where time stood still.
The next step stood in front of Simmons, and this is the point that she stood and looked at her own work, and she wanted to bring it to life. In order to do this, Simmons simply looked at her work and imagined what they would be like if they sang, spoke or danced. When younger, Simmons was always afraid to express her life or thoughts through her work. The work that she went to make smashed through this worry. These pieces were then made into several acts, each one developing from the last.
Within Act 2, mannequins rather than finger puppets were used as they were able to lie, or tell the truth, depending on the person that they were. All of the mannequins were the same, but they were simply defined by their clothing. Simmons decided as the film went on, a mannequin could not carry the emotion of the central character. This is where the main character was turned into a real woman, played by Meryl Streep. Streep then became the character and it was no longer about Simmons. Once the central character was a real woman, the aspect of romance was able to come into play.
Act 3 continued with the aspect of romance and dreams with objects on white legs. Within this, Simmons ended with the note on dance, playing the average dance story, but simply dehumanizing it with the objects as characters. Simmons believes through this she conveys her interest of stopping and starting time. Throughout all three acts that Simmons created from the initial photographs, there is a prevailing notion of regret.
Laurie Simmons work is captivating in the way in which it progresses through all three acts. The first two acts felt very uncomfortable to watch, however I did not know whether this was due to my own dislike for mannequins, or the use of them in the acts. I was most captivated by the final act, in which the objects dance. It was the use of the ‘cheesy’ and somewhat ‘traditional’ story being made with impersonal characters that allowed me to connect with it more, and to come away feeling deeper emotions than if it were actors playing the part.

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