Madame Brunelle and Monsieur Allie met nine years ago when they moved into neighboring rooms at their Assisted Living Residence. They began to dress identically as they went out on their daily walks around the neighborhood. As her memory and his vision fail they grow more and more into a unit, each one making up for the other’s lost faculties. As their heights shrink even their genders become ambiguous under suit jackets and ties. Their brightly colored satin and sequins mute the masculinity of the suits as they decline the roles imposed by gendered couplehood in favor of a merged identity.
Through their colorful presentation they deny the invisibility that usually accompanies old age. The dominant cultural narrative of the elderly leaves little room for the preservation of individuality and independence. Their appearance, then, is a direct and deliberate assault on this slow fade to obscurity.
These images make visually manifest the increasing co-dependency and blurring of boundaries between individuals involved in intimate relationships into old age. They are a study in eccentricity and public presentation. They are also a fruitful collaboration between me and these two individuals. Our interactions are an exchange of display and recognition. They allow me as an observer into the intimacies of their two-person routine and I give them a private audience in return.