photography

the spy who stayed out in the cold

“hey, would you like to be part of a wes anderson-inspired photoshoot?” i texted the gogglette a few weeks ago.

“um, YES.” she replied. i’m glad i have friends like that.

i didn’t have much concrete inspiration at that point other than my knowledge of anderson’s the fantastic mr. fox, moonrise kingdom, the grand budapest hotel, and the fact that i was wearing pumpkin-coloured corduroy pants that were about two inches too short.

during the next week or two i conducted fact-finding missions, leafed through the wes anderson collection, contacted other potential participants, had other potential participants volunteer, wished i looked as good in bright yellow as natalie portman does in hotel chevalier, shivered through the first of november’s cold blasts, and watched my participants dwindle in the face of kansas (okay, technically missouri) weather. a possibility of seven inches of snow, by some accounts, was predicted for the day scheduled for the shoot. but the gogglette was game, despite threats of impending doom … er, snow.

“what are your thoughts about photos today?” she texted me. as in, “what’s your inspiration?” good question. “because i’ve convinced myself i’m a dead-faced ingrid [insert something i’ve forgotten that had to do with eastern europe] … but i could convince myself otherwise.” aha! eastern europe. that sounded promising, because, at that point, i didn’t really have any sort of coherent vision, since the cast situation had been in flux. i scurried around the house picking up anything that looked remotely eastern european (and a few things i just thought were interesting), shoved them in the case i keep my stationery in, and sped away in my black rabbit to meet the gogglette at the nelson-atkins museum of art in kansas city.

in the end, much of our/(my)¬†inspiration came from the grand budapest hotel, lenin’s tomb, agatha christie’s destination unknown, the shop around the corner, the spy who came in from the cold, and soviet propaganda.

the following photos illustrate the story of ingrid … but what precisely that story is remains for you to discover. is it a heist? is it a swap of top-secret documents? what do all those rendezvous with russian literature mean … and why does she slip behind the iron curtain? innocence abroad and the gogglette bring you … the spy who stayed out in the cold.

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