For their project Monalisen der Vorstädte Ute and Werner Mahler photographed young women in transition, who are living between city and countryside. Thirty of these portraits have been selected for a book that was being published by Meier and Mueller. Its print run is limited to 500 copies.
To produce the body of work, the Mahlers spent three years traveling across Europe, meeting their ‘Mona Lisas’ in Liverpool, Minsk, Florence, Reykjavik and Berlin. Going to the suburbs, they waited for girls that had something mysterious and timeless in their faces. They portrayed them in their own surroundings, between buildings and meadows, with an equipment used mostly in old photo studios: a plate camera, a black cloth, a tripod and a stool with a head rest. The girls took a seat on this stool and hinted at a smile, just like the model in the famous Renaissance painting.