Behind the Project: Dream Sequence

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke to Madame Peripetie, whose work with fashion, sculpture, and the human body is inspired by everything from Dali to Hitchcock to 80′s post-punk.. In a newer work, “Dream Sequence” (soon to be published in a book!) see her signature aesthetic in these sculptural, truly unique pieces.

What was your inspiration for this project?
The project started in 2009 as a commission for one of the NY magazines and turned into a long-term project that I have been photographing infrequently ever since. It was inspired by the Salvador Dali dream scene from the Alfred Hitchcock’s film Spellbound and is closely connected to archetypal dreams (investigated very closely by Gustav Jung) that occur in a transitional period of one’s life and often leave you in a sense of awe and reverence, staying in your mind long after you experienced them. The main idea was to create unconventional characters that radiate the contemplative and poetic artificiality of Sugimoto’s wax sculptures, the hallucinogenic beauty of abstract surreal objects and incorporate physicality and intangibility at the same time. The hypnotic visual experience is being intensified by ephemeral flowers, hazy light and illuminated black background.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
It is a very analytical approach towards a very specific color palette and a strong composition involving both solid preparation – costume and model-wise – and experimental approach on set where the magic happens! It is a mixture of theatrical images that has been composed fully by myself and also in collaboration with a stylist Rolf Buck. The 2012-2013 part is being created together with a stylist Stella Gosteva and make up artist Marina Keri, who both understand my vision completely and implement the ideas with an immaculate precision and skill. It is difficult to say how exactly a character will appear and evolve – sometimes it is the garment I see somewhere that inspires me, sometimes the texture and shape of the flowers that capture my attention or an unusual model that is being transformed into a bizarre persona. In the end, the interaction of all elements constitutes a final result.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
The project fluctuates, the characters transform, the light set up differs from time to time and it is becoming more and more mosaic and complex to tell the same story with a surprising, bold twist. I find myself comparing the actual part with the older one – but it is pointless in a way because I see it as a perpetual creative process with heterogeneous evolutionary stages connected by the architecture of proportion and chromaticity.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?

The series is planned as a book and exhibition this year and i will take it from there and see if it can evolve into a video work.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?  (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc). 

You contacted me for this interview! Yes I have been receiving plenty of emails and messages, I shot a campaign and met several inspiring and very talented people. I had a pleasure to collaborate on the new set of dream sequence photographs with a fantastic team from BOO. design (Ana&Amy) that created beautiful paper pieces especially for this project.