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The Familyquins Go To Paris: Photographer Suzanne Heintz has a manufactured family of mannequins.

9/22/2013 ISO 1200 Magazine 1 Comments

What would drive you to pack a family of mannequins into your station wagon, and take them on a road trip? Enough pressure to conform will send anyone packing.
All photos courtesy of Suzanne Heintz
 That's how I came to this personal project about what is essentially...Spinsterhood, and the American Way.

Well meaning strangers, along with friends and family, would raise an eyebrow when the topic of my unmarried and childless status arose. Indicating with a small facial twitch, not only my audacious freakishness, but that I was a little old for such foolish thinking. I mean, come on, eggs don't last forever!

But really, what was I supposed to do? You can't just go out and buy a family. Or can you? I did. They are mannequins. The candy coated shell with nothing inside. We do all those family things, all the while capturing those Kodak Moments. Because it's not really about the journey, or a genuine human connection, when you're kids are screaming, "are we there yet?" Is it? It's about the picture in front of the sign. "Get back in the car, we got the picture. Now, let's go eat."

We love & obey the formatted image of a well-lived life. So deeply ingrained is that strange auto-grin we put on when a camera is present. Do we live our lives with a keen awareness of how it feels, or just how it looks?

If I pass through life without checking off the boxes for a wedding ring and a baby carriage, I will be missing the photo album, but not not the point. When I take my photos, others stop and stare, then they ask, "why are you doing this?" They, at that moment, are starting to get the point too.


Fine Art/Portrait Photographer and Art Director with a serious penchant for a Pet Project that's been going on for years, called "Life Once Removed," featuring my life with a manufactured family of mannequins. A grown woman that never got over the childish quest for the answer to, "but why?"
It all came to a head one Christmas in my mother’s kitchen in Salt Lake City. While I watched her make dinner, we chatted about my latest breakup. She put it to me point blank: “Suzy, there’s nobody perfect out there. You just need to pick somebody, and settle down. You’re not getting any younger.” I snapped back, “Mom! It’s not like I can go out and buy a family! I can’t just make it happen!”
But then, I did.
When I walked past a retail liquidation store that had a full family of mannequins in the window, a light bulb went off in my head. I decided to start a photo project out of the "Kodak moments" I’d capture with my new store-bought family. ( via )

 Suzanne has other similar projects with his family. Thanks for sharing Suzanne

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JHD said...

Wonderful images, wonderful you!