Post Wed May 12, 2010 10:17 pm

Modern Artist Makes a Study of Joe Flanigan

May 12th, 2010 | by michelle

The British artist Marin Firrell (website, twitter, wikipedia) has made Joe Flanigan of Stargate Atlantis his latest subject. French-born Firrell, who blends his public art with social commentary, has displayed both text and images in prominent locations around London. He has a particular interest in science fiction, and his recent “Complete Hero” project featured Nathan Fillion, who played Mal in Firefly/Serenity. Firrell projected images of Fillion and others on The Guards Chapel in London in November of 2009. From the Complete Hero website:

Complete Hero explores and celebrates contemporary ideas of heroism with contributions from men and women of the Household Division and wider army, from the public, and from writers, thinkers and performers. The Guard’s Chapel — destroyed in WW2 during Sunday morning worship and rebuilt in 1963 — makes a poignant backdrop for this exploration of the meaning and value of heroism in our lives.
Firrell tweeted that he’d wanted to work with Joe Flanigan for a long time; he was finally able to do so this week, in a photo/video shoot and interview on Monday May 10. He intends for this work to be part of an extension of his Hero project.

Before the shoot, he asked his twitter audience to name Sheppard’s best and worst qualities and asked for questions for Joe. On the day of the shoot, he tweeted: “Extraordinarily rich and interesting shoot with Joe Flanigan. The man is a legend.” and “Yay my brilliant assistant Kate, Project Director Emma, Camera and sound (Charlie and Christian) and top hair tamer Kat!” and described Joe as: “Generous, charming, smart, humane, thoughtful, funny, full of ideas about the value of sci fi, cult, very respectful of fandom”.

Firell also gave a fascinating interview to SFX as to how he came to work with Joe and how it fits into his Heroes project:

SFX: The Complete Hero projections were this past November in London (SFX’s Dave B and Stuart were there!). Will we be seeing anything more from this project in the future?

Martin: The project has never really gone away. One of my interests in working with Joe Flanigan was to extend the reach of Complete Hero to reach the Atlantis fandom, just as Nathan is the great figure in the Firefly/Serenity fandom, but I am also interested in moving closer to science fiction – the next incarnation of Complete Hero will be very sci-fi centric.
As far as what he did with Joe during the shoot:

But today in the studio we did some familiar stuff – some beautiful studies by candlelight of Joe’s face (in a direct parallel with the portraiture of Nathan) and some new stuff, some green screen work, and I am interested in the idea of video ‘noise’ as part of the ‘look’ of this new work. I also experimented with a computer program which created a kind of starburst for projection onto Joe’s face which worked well.”
He also revealed that he had originally thought about photographing Joe a couple of years ago but had not been able to reach him through his management. So it was actually a sci-fi pod-caster who gave Martin’s email address to Joe at a sci fi convention. Joe emailed Martin, and the rest was just finding a common opening in their schedules.

There’s no word on when the results of Martin and Joe’s efforts will be published or projected, but we’ll definitely keep an eye out for it!
Jeff Langley
SG Shadow Hunters
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