irina werning – back to the future 2

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Irina Werning

Back To The Future 2

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I love old photos. I know I’m a nosy photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for those old photos. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today…  a few years ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future.

Back to the Future won the Burn Emerging Photographer Fund  2011. The EPF grant allowed Irina Werning to extend and finish the project. For Back to the Future, she shot 250 pictures in 32 countries.



• Born in Buenos Aires

• BA Economics, Universidad de San Andres, Buenos Aires, 1997

• MA History, Universidad Di Tella, Buenos Aires, 1999

• MA Photographic Journalism, Westminster University, London, 2006

• Winner Ian Parry Scholarship 2006

• Gordon Foundation Grant 2006

• Selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass (World Press Photo Organization), 2007

• Flash Forward, The Magenta Foundation, Canada 2011

• Winner Fine Art Portraits, SONY World Photography Awards 2012


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Irina Werning



54 Responses to “irina werning – back to the future 2”

  • kathleen:

    maybe i should clarify. will make this simple, as i’m literally running out the door:

    1) by ‘technique’ i meant that this project isn’t about visual technique as the driving energy. of course it is ALL about technique: construction, appropriation, the technique of building together both a photograph and time’s rebuilding. it is not about the technique of a camera/light/style etc. that is what i meant, but wrote quickly. my assumption (poorly done) was that folk would understand that. but, of course, the project’s heart is all about building something from parts and labor from the smallest detail (clothes/props/framing, etc) to the largest, and the technique (finding the stuff/location/people etc) is at its heart, only the technique here is not about photographic techniques but about conceptual and physical technique. that is what i meant

    2) what i meant about the world’s misery journalism, what i suggest is that too much of the world of journalism (albeit important) is predicated on a kind of ‘invasion’ of the moment/subject for consumption with often times little invested in locale/subject etc. i, surely you understand, am not denegrating journalsim (it is part of the world i once inhabited) and there are documentarians whose lives are committed to more than just the splaying of images of misery (i was referring to a particular type of journalism, btw, not the field of journalism writ large). in other words, i was suggesting that the ideas here speak more to me over time, and of the moment, than much of which i see (past my initial emotional and visceral experience)….

    3) of course about construction. i’m not speaking of conceptual/art work, i’m talking about ‘documenting’ work. my world, generally, of the art practice is of course focused often on the notions of construction or appropriation of the image and its uses/commodity/application..and of course that navigational point is what i love to look at…so yes, its not absent in that world, i was referring to, again, the ideas of a different photographic community….

    in the end, its a simpler calculus, and i shouldnt have been so quick to write generalizations without being more precise….i guess summing up: either it works or doesnt for folk, and that’s i guess the extent to that one can hope to suggest…

    anyway, must run…cherry blossoms wait ing

  • Bob, isn’t it difficult to run out the door and type at the same time?

  • Not only that, Akaky, but as Bob ran out the door, typing, he was drinking coffee and reading the morning paper.

    Multi-talented man.

  • Hi Bob:

    I was right with you until the thing about the “Navigational Point” and you lost me a bit. But generally speaking i get what you are talking about. I very much agree with you about misery photo-journalism.

    By the way, the photo in the Joe McNally Conversation should be titled “Bob Black, Running”. heh.

    Thanks for writing and clarifying..


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