For Romantic Dreams of War, London-based photographer Jad Oakes employs an inverted anamorphic lens to create studio portraits of re-enactors at this year’s War and Peace Revival in Folkestone, United Kingdom as a way of probing at the often conflicting feelings of romance and trauma that surround historic wars.
Writes Oakes in his Artist Statement, “In the same way these re-enactors wish to connect with a time not of their own experience, the work is an attempt to bring me closer to a world not mine and to help understand my uneasy fascination with war. The images invite us to ask questions of who they might have been and what end they may have met. Through their re-enactment they pay homage and remembrance to all those who sacrificed and survived through these historic moments.
“Anamorphic lenses were invented during the first world war for use in tanks to allow for a greater field of view. Hollywood later adapted this technology to produce cinemascope, ultra widescreen, in an attempt to encourage people back to the big screens during the advent of the television. Using the anamorphic lens on its inverted axis accentuates the swirl and softens the boundary of the image, having a strong reference to filmic qualities but still distanced from the hollywood widescreen, the overall feeling created reflects our collective (mine and the re-enactors) romantic view of war.”
All images © Jad Oakes
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