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Checkmate

A metaphorical photo project inspired by the philosophical symbolism of chess and its projection on real life, when the world is just a chess board and everyone has their own role to play.


The concept of the idea is that Life and Death — the puppet masters of the world, play chess as equals and thereby make chess figures enliven. Characters, which are the chess plots, have their own personalities and motifs which are told by the rules of the game and by decisions of Life and Death. The Game serves the purpose “as an act of imagination”


The birth of inspiration for the project was given by the complex and different from each other art pieces —The artist Marcel Duchamp, The film Seventh Seal (1957), and the neoclassical ballet Checkmate (1937) -- one-act ballet created by the choreographer Ninette De Valois and composer Arthur Bliss. Duchamp contributed by giving birth to the idea through his direction of the life-sized chess game and with his following quote: "Chess players are madmen  of a certain quality, the way the artist is supposed to be, and isn’t, in general.”Other film and ballet cultural references just helped to polish the ideal to its final look by referring to the thoughts of other artists on the same topic.


The setting location was the entrance to St Paul’s Cathedral, which in the outside context represents a metaphorical spiritual power of welcoming both life and death. The setting of St. Paul’s Cathedral genuinely helped to make the plot of the shot a “game as an act of imagination, just without the mystery of art” (Marcel Duchamp)


The aesthetics of the costumes and characters are based on the works of designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Margiela, Comme des Garçons, and Ann Demeulemeester. Those are designers who reflect character within the shape and material — principles of chess figures. Various independent brands, in majority run by UAL graduates, some of whose works were showcased in the London Fashion Week, collaborated in the project providing their designed garments. Every character is dressed by a different designer individually. The designers who participated in the project are Cayley Cochrane, Lan Ha Vu Minh, Frock.U Boutique, Ruaa Elmansuri, Lizandro Acera, and Marcel L. Kędziora.


Stylist & Cr Dir & Photo & Retoucher: @bytheeyesofpolina

Hair: @nastia.mua

Fashion: @ruaaelmansuri

MUA: @dupuys_muaofficial

Assistant & MUA & Hair: @bycarolynska

Stylist & Assistant: @angstybby

Fashion: @lanhavuminh

Fashion: @frockuboutique

Fashion: @lizandroacera

Fashion: @cayleycochrane

Fashion: @mlk.fddwork


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