Artist book (leporello)

104 pages, 87 photographs printed on Kozo paper, 13 mirors, 4 inserted flyers (tracing paper) : text excerpts from Descartes' Dioptric (yellow) and Disderi's writings (magenta), list of photographers (cyan) and ex-libris (white)

Dimensions with slipcase : 24,3 x 14,6 x 3 cm ; length of the leporello : 12,91 m

This Leporello gathers 87 Cartes de visite that follow one another on the principle of a visual exquisite corpse. Made popular by Disderi in 1854, the 'Carte de visite' portraits gained rapid commercial success within the Bourgeoisie and soon became a means of social recognition. Wherever the portraits come from, this genre is characterized by recurrent types of poses and the use of identical props: chair, table, column, curtain, wood paneling, painted landscape...

The image juxtaposition aims to highlight the triviality and conformism of this kind of portraiture and brings to light the narcissism of the new Bourgeois society. However, the attention is drawn to the edge of the pictures where now and then improbable objects are shaped by matching adjacent forms. In a way, every image lateral area reflects its neighbour apart some changes, alike the refracted image of a ray of light when it enters another medium, as described by Descartes in La dioptrique (1637).

The book is conceived as a leporello to underline the sequential aspect of the work: by folding or unfolding the pages, the viewer may see the portraits individually or by pairs or in sequences where the "objects" created by the juxtaposition of the images are brought forward by the paper pleats.

The sequences are separated by mirror foils that replay the refraction effect at the edges, but also point out the narcissism of the portrayed persons and involve the reader's presence into the work.