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MET, Faking It: Manipulated Photography

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In the first photograph, a man presumed dead lies on a table, draped with a large cloth. As the series continues, his soul appears as a silhouette, extracting itself from the man’s body, rising up to walk before the camera, as if by magic. This sequence of photographs, entitled Renaissance, by the American artist Duane Michals, was created through double exposure, a technique in which the image of one photograph is superimposed onto another, merging the two. Produced in the 1970s, long before the advent of digital technology and editing software like Photoshop, this series reminds us (if we naively thought otherwise) that the manipulation of the image has existed as long as photography itself.

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