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Lost room : Photographs out of time and space

The artist Idan Wizen presents the Lost Room collection

The Un Anonyme Nu Dans Le Salon project, set up in 2009, brings together different collections. A room out of time and space. It’s his Lost Room collection, which teleports daily people to an almost surreal place. Lots of unusual items. Idan Wizen, its creator, tells us a little more about this strange and unusual universe.


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Face to face with the artist Idan Wizen

Hello, I am Idan Wizen the photographer of the project Who’s That Nude In My Living Room, I was asked today to talk about one of the collections, Lost Room collection, which was made between 2013 and 2014. This collection includes 100 photographs of 100 different people who came to pose, usually for the first time without casting, and which were projected precisely in this universe quite intriguing.


What does the title mean ?

Lost Room, this title was inspired by a mini series called The Lost Room which had marked me a lot and which was a science fiction series where, the particularity was to have objects moved out of space and out of time, and quite a bit of anachronism. That’s what I liked. I wanted to do almost the same thing by moving people out of space, out of time to take pictures of them in their most natural state.


Why did you choose to represent an apartment room for this collection ?

First all, it is not necessarily a room in an apartment, that room that could be anywhere.  It’s a bit of a surrealist imagination with Edgard Allan Poe-type inspirations. Why did I want to change? I wanted to develop my style, my universe, what I was saying before. I tried to take the models out of a sociocultural context, they were in a united background, which was basically more neutral. On the first collection, they are on a black background. And then, little by little, I will tint, color, add elements. Here on Lost Room, I move them out of our universe, into something that is sacred, a little delusional and a little demented.


Does this room come from a specific era ?

No, this is not a room from a specific era. For me, it’s just colors, shapes, a universe. It is a room without a window, but also without a door. We can’t get in there. We can’t get out there. It’s just graphic elements, but they don’t necessarily represent a predefined or preconceived place.


Where do these items come from ?

Objects in the room, for the anecdote, were recovered in the apartment of an old woman who died. She was the neighbor of a friend he didn’t know, neither did I, and who had no heirs, no descendants. And these objects were going to be thrown in the trash. What I liked was that this woman lived in this apartment for more than 60 years and so these elements, his apartment, it was really showcase of curiosities, things that had lived, that had a history, that I didn’t know and I wanted to recover them to give them a second life, to reintegrate them, to give them a new story in these photographs.


Do the objects present in the collection give meaning to the photograph ?

Yes, the objects, of course, will give meaning to the photograph, but the idea is to have a free interpretation of everyone. I wanted to use them globally, in a rather eccentric, quite quirky aspect. An old coat rack is used as a spear, a foot lamp used as a sword, a piece of furniture that is not at all there for us to climb on it. But who gives us a visual and a really different and really surprising aesthetics.


Was it the models who chose the objects ?

No, I don’t let people choose them, I chose them myself, we have a little interview before each photo session where we talked a bit about who they are, their reasons for coming to pose.  And based on that I was trying to tell a story, the one I wanted, the one who, for me, corresponded to the person I had in front of me. And so, I choose the different objects based on that. Why didn’t I want to let them choose? The idea is above all to take them out of any sociocultural context, as with all of the project’s collections. The idea is that we have neither information, nor their age, nor their profession, nor their clothes that position them socially. I didn’t want the fact that they choose objects to give back this information.


Are there any artworks in particular that you would like to tell us about ?

One of the photographs that I love in this collection is La Neptune. She inevitably reminds me of a goddess or almost a Greek god, the one of the sea where she holds this lamp base, which acts as a trident. She is proud, confident, sure of herself. And who she really is in everyday life is up to the viewer to imagine. But projecting in this room out of time and space, she becomes a goddess, the goddess of the sea, in a place where there is no water, it’s still a shame.  

L’Illuminé, is a photo that I really like. Photography, by definition, we talk about lights; without light there is no photography. It seems pretty obvious to all of us. And I liked taking this person, taking him out of a sociocultural context and to make him totally amazed by the light, by the electricity, by this lamp which is there, and who will precisely make it shine in his eyes, in his attitude, in his slightly funny and quirky side of this photo. What I really like about this collection is that if you think, if you imagine a nude photo, I don’t think you can imagine this type of photography at all, in this light, this type of character. That’s what I like that I find great. 

Another one I want to tell you about would be Le Bureaucrate. It is for me the perfect representation of the oxymoron. A nude photography, a completely offbeat, very baroque background, a briefcase and a man who looks rather austere and disgruntled. If we took these different elements separately, we would never tell you that we can make a work of art, an artistic nude on it. And yet, I find that it works. I find that we have a rendering, we go into it.  We don’t know if we should be afraid, if we should laugh, if we’re totally disconcerted. And I think, like the whole collection, Lost Room, that’s what I wanted, surprise the viewer

One last word ?

Yes, I believe that the Lost Room collection is above all a hundred different stories, very rich, often funny, very quirky, and above all leaves the place of the imagination, for reflection.