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Melanie Manchot

Doubleportrait, 2009
For a long time now, I have been fascinated with the tradition of the painted double portrait, originating in Renaissance Portraiture and occurring over and over across the history of painting.
Doubleportrait (displaced) proposes a double portrait in a double sense: of two people and two cities. The series consists of 5 photographic diptychs, two portraits – one of which originates in London, one in Istanbul. The pairs in each case relate visually through precise attention to the environments in which the images take place, forming links through details in furniture and architectural features.

The very process of selecting participants for this body of work consciously aimed to curtail my choices and instead is shaped by self selection and nomination. In a first step I have gathered participants from within the Turkish community in London, who agree to be portrayed in their home or chosen domestic setting. These people then nominated either a member of their family or a close friend in Istanbul – as their counterpart for the portrait. Through this process of nomination these participants literally send me into the homes of those for whom they care, and the process of portraiture becomes a representation of relationships.

Once the Istanbul portraits were complete I returned to London and completed the counterpart images with the London participants. The pair of portraits will always exist as doubles and it is ultimately in the space between the two images that the portraits come into existence.

Melanie Manchot (March 09)
Mine and Muge, 2009
2 C-type prints, each 77 x 64 cm
Saban and Falk, 2009
2 C-type prints, each 102 x 80 cm
Taylan and Tamer, 2009
2 C-type prints, each 76,7 x 65 cm
Elif and Sibel,2009
2 C-type prints, each 62,5 x 49 cm