Photography & conceptual & retouching – John McKAY
Face and Body Artist / Conceptual realisation – Elena Lieu @ Elenavation Face and Body Art – https://www.facebook.com/elenavation
Model – Milica Vujic of Giant Management – https://www.facebook.com/mili888
Casting a model for a project like this is not easy. Finding someone who has the right look and is willing to be fully naked while being body painted for 4 hours, not to mention 4 hours of shooting, was no easy task! I was initially looking for a dark skin model, but fortunately couldn’t find one. Milica, with her distinctly feminine curves and striking looks more than lived up to my creative ideal. Coupled with her modelling style, she seemed to totally inhabit the character with ease. Thank you Elena Lieu for your guidance in choosing this talent.
‘MASCHINENMENSCH’ (machine-human) is the fictional character in Fritz Lang’s film 1927 German masterpiece ‘Metropolis’. She is the inspiration for this collaboration. The story of an Automaton is nothing new in popular culture, but has always fascinated me. It is perhaps a story more relevant today than ever, as our lives becomes more reliant and integrated with machines.
When we last left our hero, Maschinenmensch, she was trying to save her ship and herself from blowing up! Alas!, it was not possible and her only option was to abandon the mother craft to a small transport vessel. Alone, drifting in space now for 17 days Maschinenmensch spends her time trying to understand what she is – made in the likeness of her creators she tries to do the things she saw them doing: fight, worry, look beautiful, exercise… but such pursuits mean nothing to an Automaton so she ‘feels’ baffled. Underpowered, her craft drifts aimlessly, as does Maschinenmensch through its corridors, and she wonders why she is the only ‘thing’ left of the 2178 crew…..