The series Icons by the Swiss photographers Adrian Sonderegger and Jojakim Cortis started out as a joke but quickly resulted in a series that uses models to imitate the most famous and expensive photographs ever taken. Their on-going project of still-lifes started with the question: is this a truly iconic shot?
From Toshihiko Sato’s Concorde to Marmaduke Wetherell’s Nessie, Sonderegger and Cortis are careful with selecting images, as it is important that the images register in our collective memory. Since the scene for each model is painstakingly handcrafted, the work involved in its recreation can take days or weeks.
Sonderegger and Cortis’s reconstructed iconic photographs result in a series of new icons, similar to the original images yet undoubtedly original constructions in themselves. Allowing their process of constructing the Icons remain visible, they ask us to examine what ‘iconic’ means: How did these photos become icons? What does the icon show and what does it leave out?