Look at these images and look again because what first appears to be a theme park is in reality a carefully constructed world balancing on the threshold of leisure and order.
Shot by photographer Clemens Ascher, the series Pleasure Grounds depicts scenes where people are shown in a moment of leisure but the space they inhabit is bleak and slightly threatening. Military weapons and wild domesticated animals populate this landscape and as viewers we are unsure what is real and what is ficticious. We have collaborated with Clemens in the realization of this fine art project, playing with altering the proportions of objects and people, choosing slightly off-putting poses for the models and using extremely bleak lighting to take the scene to the limits of reality. Clemens wanted to create an artificial world, nearly two-dimensional, where missiles, animals and people would function like interchangeable figurines, marionettes playing on a theatrical stage.
Whilst the background and animals were shot in different parts of the world from Austria and Switzerland to the US, the models were shot in a studio in East London. Aside from Clemens, part of the creative team on set was Christoph, our creative director, fashion stylist Alice Whiting, prop stylist Elena Riccabona, hair and make-up artist Brooke Neilson who all greatly contributed to the realization of the project with an exquisite selection of props, costumes and style.
Here are some snaps taken by Christoph during the shoot.
After shooting the individual elements, Clemens created the layouts for each image. Following his directions, we started to assemble all the pieces from background to architecture, to the armament and the people. See below a short gif animation of how it all came together.
Our CGI artists created the missiles in Maya and added some texture (such as rust, dust and scratches) in Mari for extra reality.
Below are some screenshots from Maya.
Photography: Clemens Ascher
Fashion Stylist: Alice Whiting
Props Stylist: Elena Riccabona
Hair and Make-up: Brooke Neilson
CGI Director: Christoph Bolten
CGI Artists: Kristian Turner, Richard Jenkinson, Florian Einfalt
Post Artists: Pepe Alram, Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro