For the latest facet of 365 showcasing the Prada Pre-Fall 2017 collection, award-winning actor Jessica Chastain is the protagonist of a Prada campaign for the second time. In Parallels, the narrative is new: scenes are captured inside and out of a Modernist home – a resolutely real space, the photographs imbued with an intensity and intimacy. Yet Chastain’s presence, her own persona, causes us to question the images – are these portraits of Chastain, or a character? Is she playing a role, or playing herself? Reality here runs parallel to fantasy.
Photographed by Willy Vanderperre with a cinematic quality, Chastain’s eyes never meet ours. She is absorbed in her own world, her own reality, at a remove. Multiple images, like different fragments of the same scene, are juxtaposed, and can pretend to be film stills. But is it documentary, or a work of fiction? The questions hang, unanswered.
Just as Jessica Chastain finds reality in her characters, in her parallel identities, so we search for the reality in these images. We find it. The gestures are genuine, and the emotion is real.