Photogenics: How Much Do These People Look Like Their Parents?

Israeli photographer Orly Zailer's project focuses on the sometimes extreme resemblance of people to their fathers and mothers.

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Left: great grandmother Maria on the, around 1910. Right: great granddaughter Claire on the, 2012.Credit: Orly Zailer
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Orly Zailer is an Israeli photographer who has been based in London for the past four years. She studied at the Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education in Haifa, graduating in 2008. She followed that with a master’s in photography and urban cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

“The Time Elapsed Between Two Frames” is a project Zailer presented last year in the context of a group exhibition at London’s Photofusion Gallery. As Zailer explained to Haaretz, the 13 diptychs that constitute “The Time Elapsed” represent an “ongoing project in which I have reproduced old photographs from various family albums with descendants of the people photographed in the original ones.”

She went on: “I started the project with a self-portrait with my partner, reproducing a photo of my parents taken 40 years earlier, as I have been fascinated with the extreme resemblance of people to their parents in general and mine in particular. I wanted to deal with questions of identity in the shadow of our antecedents, as well as physical resemblance passed on and the extent to which it affects our personality.”

Zailer noted that “all people, when observed by others, especially through the lens, put on an act in order to create an ideal representation of the self to society and to future generations. I wanted each person that took part in this project to perform the performance his ancestors did so long ago ...”

Zailer has also produced a short video loop, which she has posted on YouTube, in which her contemporary subjects are seen portraying “the assumed moments that could have taken place before and after the exact moment in which the original photographs were taken. This is merely a proposal of the reality that could have taken place.”

For more information, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSWmNHvC69w or visit Orly Zailer's website.

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From Orly Zailer Project
1 of 7 |
From Orly Zailer Project
2 of 7 |
From Orly Zailer Project
Top photo: Rishek and Zosha on their wedding day, 1947. Bottom photo: Their granddaughter Naama and partner Amir, 2012.
Top photo: Sharon with her in-laws, Haray and Menashe, 1986. Bottom photo: Sharon’s daughter Ella with grandparents Haray and Menashe,2012.
Top photo: My parents, Samy and Mariana, 1972. Bottom photo: My partner Nadav and I, 2012.
Top photo: Katriel and his granddaughter Alvit, 1968. Bottom photo: Katriel’s son Amos with granddaughter Tom, 2013.
Top photo: Hana’s daughter Lea, 2013. Bottom photo: Hana, 1985.

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