A Double-Smile, A Double-Face

‘one of whose favourite words is ‘double’ – ‘a double -smile … a double face …’ He has what he describes as a ‘double job’, that of being ‘judge–penitent.’’  - Introduction, Robin Buss 
This project, inspired by the novel ‘The Fall ’ by Albert Camus, is a collection of Jean–Baptiste’s items.  From his love of doubles, a double collection has been created. One set of his possessions is from Paris, France, and the other from Amsterdam, Netherlands.  Subtly weaved into these double items are the themes of innocence and loss of innocence/guilt; his innocence from when he lived in Paris, and his loss of innocence/ guilt from when he exiled himself to Amsterdam. 
GIN & TONIC Based on Jean–Baptiste’s apparent love and frequent consumption of gin, I created a gin & tonic double. ‘Drowned Damsel’ Gin is a reference to the guilt that Jean felt on and after the night that he crossed the Pont Royal bridge and heard a woman that he’d passed fall into the freezing water below; doing nothing to save her. ‘Highlands’ tonic water is a connection to Jean’s love of high places, and of being in them. I used a bright yellow to contrast with the darker colours of the gin, and a smaller, curvier bottle to make it softer than it’s double.
NEWSPAPERS A double newspaper with a double name; ’The Daily Penitent’ and ‘The Daily Friendship’ were designed to be stark contrasts of each other. The Daily Penitent covered the worst stories of the time, including plane crashes, escaped convicts and death announcements. In its advertisement spaces, boasting of using child labour and second–hand items of clothing were frequented. However, they were still kind enough to print the weather forecast. In The Daily Friendship, stories of the local fête and agriculture growth were printed, along with adverts for leisurely pastimes and the birth announcements. These stories were all sourced from newspapers from the year of publication printed on each of them, most within the same month, and some on the same day.
CLOTHING These pieces of clothing are supposed close replicas of items that Jean mentions within the book. His ‘very elegant blue suit’ from when he was in Paris, and his ‘camel hide coat’ from his days in Amsterdam. The blue suit jacket is reminiscent of his well–paid job as a lawyer in Paris, when he fought for the ‘good causes’ where ‘being on the right side,… was enough to ease my conscience’. The camel jacket is more of a necessary item of clothing, rather than one to show status or wealth, which is more reflective of Jean’s character in Amsterdam.
POSTCARDS  These postcards are from people that Jean has met in his life; one a former lover from Paris, another from the man he was talking to in the book. The postcard he received in Paris shows a painting of the Himalayas, while the one received in Amsterdam is The Just Judges, which Jean ‘owns’. 
‘Dearest Jean,  It has been a while since we last saw one another. However, I have recently been travelling and the many talks that we once has of aspiring to great heights urged me to send you this card. Thinking of you often, Marie x’ 
‘My good friend,  I often think for long periods of time on the talks we had, yet I never quite know hoe to respond to them. I suppose I’m just writing to let you know what I saw this card and thought of you. Your Dear Fellow.’
CIGARETTES From the mentions of Jean’s cigarette purchases through the book, I decided to create a set of filled packets. The French cigarettes are named ‘White Prince’ cigarettes, in contrast to the ‘Black King’ cigarettes that were advertised in the Dutch newspaper. As with the gin & tonic, I wanted to show a strong contrast between the two brands, and used similar colours to those on the gin for the Dutch packaging. For the French packaging, I went with a similar tone to the yellow, but in a soft blue. The French packet is almost full, while the Dutch one is almost empty, connecting the bad habit to Jean’s characteristics in each place. A couple of the cigarettes from the Dutch packet ended up in the remnants of the gin from his time in the bar with his ‘Dear Fellow’.
MUSIC  These two records were created at the mention of two songs within the book, ‘La Vie en Rose’ by Edith Piaf and ‘Tristan und Isolde’ by Wagner. I felt that these two pieces of music went well with each of the themes and their corresponding location connections. Keeping the Wagner single fairly plain, I wanted it to look quite stark in comparison to its more decorative and colourful counterpart. The coloured tape on the plain sleeves link to the only colours on each of the singles.
PASSPORTS  Jean’s passports show his freedom when he lived in Paris and his lack of freedom after his own exile to Amsterdam. In his French passport, you will find stamps from the places that he mentioned he travelled to in the book, along with estimated dates for them, and renewals issued for the passport so that he could go about his travels. In his Dutch passport, Jean has penned in his profession as being an actor, something which he felt his true self would be if advertised honestly. In this passport, the pages for renewals and travel stamps remain blank, as a show to his own self–inflicted exile. These passports, along with the postcards also show Jean’s different names that he had; Jean Trudeau in Paris, and Jean–Baptiste in Amsterdam.

Thank You

Team Credits

Becki Goldsmith

  • Graphic Designer for Film/TV/Props

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Becki Goldsmith
Graphic Designer for Film/TV/Props