Imitation of Life


Imitation of Life (Photography)

Imitation of Life

by Ofer Wolberger

“I considered that the homes that people live in exactly describe their lives. They are always behind those window crossings, behind bars or staircases. Their homes are their prisons. They are imprisoned even by the tastes of the society in which they live. In All That Heaven Allows this woman is imprisoned by her home, her family, her society. They are imprisoned in two ways – by their personal habits, and by the class to which they belong, which is slightly above the middle class. The middle class is more anonymous. For instance, in All I Desire, it is the academic society which is another prison. The drama teacher is in love with the guy, but he can’t make a move. He wants his goddamned promotion. He’s in his prison, too. This goes all the way up to Written on the Wind. There they are imprisoned by wealth. They are the kaput haute bourgeoisie. They have gone from the simple society to complete decadence. But in between, in the upper middle class, there is upper middle class elegance only. That living room in All That Heaven Allows has a certain elegance. I worked for UFA as a set designer, you know. I believe my pictures reflect this, even in a sort of continuity. In Written on the Wind the mirrors that run throughout are marbelized. They are not clear mirrors anymore. Even the reflections have become clouded.

“In All That Heaven Allows the town is shown as being arranged around the church steeple. You don’t see them going to church, because that would be too much on the nose. But even that church is a prison, just like the homes, which are their cages. People ask me why there are so many flowers in my films. Because these homes are tombs, mausoleums filled with the corpses of plants. The flowers have been sheared and are dead, and they fill the homes with a funeral air.”

– Douglas Sirk

Ofer Wolberger currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2001 with a Masters Degree in Photography and Related Media. In 2012, he completed 12 Books, a series of self-published artists books and was awarded the Printed Matter Award for Artists. In August of 2013 he was a resident at Light Work in Syracuse. Last year he published a book of photographs titled Billie and in February 2015 he will have a solo exhibition of his recent paintings at Stene Projects in Stockholm, Sweden. Visit his website here.