For some people retiring and ageing can be experienced as a way of disappearing, as one's 'utility' in society is no longer required. One has only to accept the fact that the body is not as efficient and appealing as in the past years.
In her latest project Hello I'm Nora, Emily Stein (1980, UK) shows the 73- year-old Nora dealing with her own perception of age, beauty and existence, unwilling to become 'invisible' or refusing to regard older age as society suggests that she should do.
In the series, Nora and Stein play with diverse tones of fashion photography and still life, achieving freshness through the power of imperfection, conveying an ironic sense of playfulness. The past is regarded with satisfaction, and with an appreciation for something that is still evolving, rather than a nostalgia for something that’s gone. The synergy between photographer and subject is tangible: Nora presents her own antidote to social disappearance and Stein uses the photographic medium to show the fulfillment of Nora’s means to, in her words, “connect with universal energy and find activity to feel worth”.
Hello I'm Nora deals with the dichotomy of appearance and disappearance in a cheeky yet profound way, as external appearance is presented as a reflection of Nora's inner self, taking her on a path “to become one's own object of joy.”