Making of: The wind of change

Table of contents

Artistic interpretation

I will start by pointing out the most obvious and simple things from the image. This interpretation is entirely subjective and not the only way one can see it. This interpretation is based on personal observations made during 2005 to 2007.

Generally speaking, the left side of the image, named VisuAlizée, is a visual interpretation of how I perceive what the Alizée fans think of her. It seems many of her fans see her as "an angel". They believe everything related to her is perfect. It is also a reinterpretation of the stage from her 2004 concert.

In her concert, she had two backup voices. I've modeled two birds, in the background. The instrument players are represented by the grasshopper playing the guitar. In the second side (right side), these elements are missing which for some may lead to the interpretation that something is not right in regards to her music.

The final bird WIP image [5 August 2006, 18:53] The grasshopper WIP [11 July 2006, 21:59]

The shoe [7 September 2005, 15:04] The shoe is a reproduction of the big scale shoe from the concert. I've also used the cover of the "Mes courants électriques" album as a source of inspiration.

One may also notice the spot lights focusing the center of the image. I've made them to emphasize once again that this side is a reproduction of the concert stage.

Toy soldier [27 October 2006, 18:02] The second side, named LiberAlizée, is a visual combination of different elements from her lyrics and her videos. The drama has been exaggerated and emphasized in various ways. The dolls are a reproduction of the ones seen in the official video for "Parler tout bas" (Speak quietly). The toy soldiers are just a hint to one of her songs, "Tempête", in which she, supposedly, sings about Napoleon. According to her fan base, some of her lyrics have double meanings. The building is inspired by another video: "À contre-courant".

The rose-angel, in both sides, is the symbol of Alizée. I wanted to create a flower, because people sometimes compare beautiful women to flowers: "oh, she's like a flower". By reading various interviews with Alizée, I learned that one of her favourite flowers is the rose. So, I created a rose, a rose-angel. The white thing on it is a reproduction, an adaptation, of one of her dresses worn in the concerts from 2004.

Another thing to look for is how I made the wings. In the first side, her wings are "down", angel-like, just to emphasize her perceived kindness. In opposition, the wings in the second part are wide-spread, black and pointing upwards. Yet, the colours of the rose are still the same. In this way, I suggest she's not so kind as her fans see her, but that she might even be mean.

Rose Angel stalk close up [3 April 2007, 21:32] Wings for the dark side [10 July 2007, 22:02] Wings for the bright side [3 April 2007, 18:30]

An aspect of the rose-angel that slipped even for me, for a while, is how I made the rose. It's not a wide-spread rose, entirely blossomed. It's just a young rose which hasn't yet fully blossomed. This aspect emphasizes her apparent innocence perceived by her fans. This may also refer to her musical career started at a very young age.

In part one, all the flowers are leaning towards the center, all the butterflies are going to the center. Everything is focused on the rose-angel. She's the center, everything revolves around her. I've read on the forums that some fans say they "live for her". This is another reason why I made the rose-angel like this, glowing, like a source of light. Also, butterflies in nature are attracted to light. They are feeding with the flower's nectar and they are lead by wind in migrations. As you may already know, the alize is a wind that blows in winter times in some regions of Earth.

There are 8 butterflies. 21 rose petals on the water and 84 balls/particles falling down the stairs of the shoe. According to Wikipedia, Alizée was born on the 21st of August 1984.

The first part is a fairytale image, so I chose to make butterflies to represent the Alizée fans, because they are easy to manipulate, in some ways. Butterflies are insects, thus the fans are of a reduced importance and "small" compared to her. Correlating with what I said earlier, the fans are controlled by "the wind". Another thing to look at is that no butterfly is identical to another. This was done on purpose to emphasize that her fans are all different.

There's a blue butterfly in the left bottom corner of the image. At the original resolution, you may notice that there's a Morse code on both wings. The Morse code reads: ALIZEE.

The white butterfly has two black spots on the two wings. In biology this tells that the butterfly is a female.

The white butterfly [19 April 2006, 19:52] The blue butterfly [6 April 2006, 21:32] The butterflies [20 April 2006, 16:02]

In the second side of the image, there are 8 toys, 21 stones and 84 balls falling on the stairs of the shoe, all clearly visible.

Doll close up [19 February 2007, 21:37] There are 4 dolls and 4 toy soldiers. In this way I represent both of the biological genres. Being toys, thus without life, heartless, bloodless, they actually symbolize that her fans, in this setup, are just some sort of puppets. They are controllable. As one may notice, these toys aren't so focused on the rose-angel as the butterflies are in the first part.

The first part of the image is obviously made to be like a fairytale. The second one is a "horrified toy world". This toy world is in an inadequate environment: a warehouse, a dirty place. Even further, one may say, it's at the wrong timing. The whole setup I created actually symbolizes the obsessions of certain people. There are people obsessed by their own childhood, by their past, and still have toys or objects from the past throughout their life. Constraining this idea to the image, some people get obsessed about Alizée and hardly manage to tone control their obsession. This can slowly lead to isolation.

Another numerological aspect of having 4 dolls and 4 toy soldiers, is that 8/2=4, 4*2=8. 42 is the answer to life and everything. 21*2=42, 42*2=84 :). Alizée was 21 years old when I started working on the image.

84 balls are falling on the stairs. With this I try to suggest, in a far-fetched manner, that Alizée may not have such a high success with her new album, third one, as she had with the first two. In the first part, these are faint. In the second side, they are considerably more visible.

There are 21 rose petals on the water. In this way I suggest that this rose-angel will be replaced with another one in time. These are the remains of another rose. In the second side, there are 21 rocks. Some people who enjoy being a fan of an artist, sometimes change their focus to artists, from time to time. Or, to put it simple, mass-media gives them "a new product" to focus on.

On the water, there are 4 water lilies. I've read in some interviews of Alizée that her nickname is Lili.

The design of the shoe is not done by me. It has those stairs, but I honestly don't know exactly what the original designer of this shoe had in mind with this. I've only remodeled it using the DVD as a reference. Maybe it represents the evolution of women in society.

In my image, the shoe represents all women. It suggests that the rose-angel is a female, the subject of the image is a woman. By comparing the two sides we may observe that in the left one, the shoe is intact, smooth and in pink shades, but in the right side it is entirely wrecked. The steps are broken and the look is of a diseased shoe. This may represent that some women are maltreated, desolated.

One may also consider that the stairs of the shoe represent that males have to climb up to women, to reach to them. Or, in this case, the fans have to climb "the stairs" to reach to their beloved artist. All the butterflies and all the toys are below her at compositional level. Not a single life element is above the rose-angel, they are all underneath.

If we compare the two environments of the image, we notice the total opposition between the two, expressed at different levels. In the dream world: water - purity, colourful, nature, a moody romantic night, bright flowers, fluorescent. And, in the dark world: a warehouse, concrete, dust, erosions, dirt, coldness, red - blood, humidity, years of darkness and loneliness; everything is man made. Both sides are a complete exaggeration of the two extremes: naive thinking versus pessimistic thinking.

Being night, there's no obvious source of light, in the left side. But, in the second part, light comes through the windows. Outside, there's light. Inside: darkness, isolation. There's some sort of opposition in the light schemes as well.

The entire image is made of two mirroring sides. The shoes, the arches and the wings are in opposition. In the center of the image, you may notice that the lines of the top arches and those determined by the shoes, form an invisible shape of a heart.

VisuAlizée prefinal step2, wip1 [19 July 2006, 12:02] In part one, it has been suggested by some of my friends that the two trees and the forest are guardians of the dream world.

The arch with grape leaves, in the left part, was done on purpose. In this way I am hinting to France - a country well-known for the very good wines produced there.

In the left side I've put 11 floating bubbles, inspired by her official video for L'Alize.

In the second side of the image, the dolls have different moods: angry, sad and calm. This may represent the mood swings which a hardcore, psychotic, fan may experience in isolation.

Hand holding the shoe [5 December 2006, 21:19] Alizée does not write her lyrics, nor her music. The first two albums were done by Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat. So, to represent this, I've modeled the hand you can see it aggressively holds the shoe, coming out of the ground. The hand symbolizes the control over her music. She sings what others want. In a broader view, most of today's singers must do what the record companies want, otherwise they go out of business. The name for this part of the image is LiberAlizée. I suggest that she is going to try to get more control of what she will sing in her following albums. In the left side, the hand is not there, because her fans don't care or they don't realize this. The fans live in a dream.

Wolverine [17 December 2006, 12:24] Along the same lines, one of the dolls wears a medallion on which I made a drawing of a wolf head. This refers to some of Alizée's lyrics in which Mylène Farmer supposedly used the term wolf with a double meaning, for example in Moi Lolita. Another doll has a shovel, as seen in the official video for "Parler tout bas".

As a final conclusion, the title of the image tries to concentrate the changes some fans experience when they get to like to such an extent a certain singer or artist. I've read many statements that this has changed their life. The title also encapsulates the change in Alizée's musical career that she experienced between the second and the third album.

While working on the image, I was positively surprised by how people interpret the image. So, during two years of work, I heard many things about it :).

An interpretation that has come to my attention and it's worth mentioning is that the left side is an apotheosis and the right side would be a kind of purgatory. Or, that this would be a Cinderella story and her lost shoe. You figure it out ;).

My own general interpretation would be that the whole image represents the good versus the bad. The same thing seen through two different perspectives. One thing can be very good and very bad, it only depends on how you see it.

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