Australian-based artist Jane Long uses early 20th century portraits to create surreal modern-day makeovers in ‘Dancing with Costică’

Metro: As Mr Spock might have said to Captain Kirk aboard the starship Enterprise: ‘It’s history, Jim, but not as we know it.’

They are historic portraits given a surreal makeover.

The original artist was Romanian photographer Costica Acsinte, who took photos of everyday life and everyday people before, during, and after the First World War – and immortalised them on glass plate.

Australian-based artist Jane Long Photography has taken Acsinte’s work and given it a modern-day spin producing the series ‘Dancing with Costică’.

Here’s the history: glass plates preceded film in photography, using a light-sensitive emulsion of silver salts to coat the glass. Prints were then made by shining light through the coated glass onto phot-sensitive paper.

Glass plate faded in popularity in the early 20th century but was still used as late as the 1990s (especially by astronomers – who preferred the non-warping nature of glass to film).

The big problem with glass plate was that it became increasingly expensive – and the plates had the tendency to fade and disappear if exposed to anything other than strictly controlled light