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Friday, 27 January 2017

Question: Is the wax model of HRH Lady Diana any better than any other form of representation of her?

In regards to my blogpost ‘How will my life be observed in25 thousand years time?’, I would like to note that the photograph of HRH Lady Diana as featured may not be as some of us remember her. I found the picture of the wax model of HRH Lady Diana quite alarming, stark and synthetic despite attempts to the contrary (see picture). I would add that whilst it was made to look ‘real life’ (in wax), I thought that it was far from ‘real life’. I suppose that poses the obvious question: Can some real life pictures/sculptures/ photographs be more authentic than other attempts at real life? Does it matter? Is it more of a public thing, more of a stimulus – a memory prompting mission to engineer or awaken our sense of fiction, a belief and foster a strong sense of identification. Personification is the key, - a mechanism in placing mental connections, social and political hooks, and intimate histories, significant to those it concerns. Or mere titillation, - entertainment found in the corridors of  Madame Tussauds in London where you will find HRH Lady Diana as wax model.

The power of the image (not just physical) and the associations it provides foster a psychological in-road as to who we are and whom we identify with of course. It provides meaning, however real or unreal, fleeting, passing… We are movements caught in memories. They are stored and they return – ebb and flow, re-weave themselves into our lives that ultimately make us tick. We shape our moments, our approaches by the signs they signify, that impress, that formulate from our sublime to our ridiculous. We are what we believe. It’s what matters.

So returning to the artificial, the ‘real life’ wax version of HRH Lady Diana scenario, does the reaction that I find the picture of her in Madame Tussauds as synthetic really matter? Is she any less authentic as a wax model (or photograph for that matter) that in itself is nonetheless void of any real/accurate physical resemblance other than a prompt at our memory? Many will automatically take it as given that this is indeed the lady that was (physically). Indeed, the fact that we need to recreate a life-like appearance is curious in itself. It qualifies as skill, ingenuity and hi-tech which we marvel at perhaps. These days (in 2017) many people find the magic in smartphones and tablets. They are sophisticated, seductive, and clever (for the time-being anyway). I think I’ll go and have a series of portraits done or commission another life size, life-like wax model of HRH lady Diana copied from the picture I have. Or have a 3D model print out done. Let’s see what happens…

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