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Centre Pompidou : The image and its double


The group exhibition “The Image and its Double” at the Center Pompidou brings together works born out of a reflection on one of the main properties – if not the first – of photography: reproduction.

Bringing historical and contemporary photographic works into dialogue, this exhibition sheds light on the very nature of photography, its specificities, and its fundamental links with other artistic disciplines.

“The image and its double” presents around sixty works from the collection of the Pompidou Center, and brings together around twenty international artists, among them: Pierre Boucher, Man Ray, Raoul Ubac, Constantin Brancusi, Berenice Abbott, Hirofumi Isoya, Miklos Erdely, Timm Ulrichs, Paolo Gioli, Sara Cwynar, Kanji Wakae, Wallace Berman, Bruno Munari, Pati Hill, Eric Rondepierre, Susan Meiselas, Claudia Angelmeier or Philipp Goldbach. Several of the works presented have been acquired recently, in particular thanks to the Pompidou Center’s Groupe d’Acquisition pour la Photographie (GAP).

Imprinted by reality, photography reproduces, mechanically and chemically, what it has in front of it.

Thanks to negative and digital techniques, it can be multiplied to infinity. Fascinated by the principle, the mechanisms, and the consequences of the photographic reproduction, some artists have placed this notion at the very heart of their works. Reproduction then becomes the subject of the work. Using various devices, these artists challenge, each in their own way, the apparent simplicity of this act of reproduction.

Aware of the challenges linked to the proliferation of visual representations – reinforced since the advent of digital technology – they unveil utopias and dysfunctions in the processes of repetition and copying. Questioning reproduction therefore also means rethinking the identity of the author and his authority.

This fascination with the idea as well as with the formal aesthetics of reproduction also sometimes reveals an obsessive relationship with reality, and with its possession, fantasized, by the image. Accumulations, collections, but also photographic fragmentation of objects and bodies allow this frenzy to be satisfied for a time.


L’image et son double

15 September 15 – December 13, 2021

Centre Pompidou

Place Georges-Pompidou

75004 Paris, France


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