Photo booth – as an exhibition

Today I visited a really cool and interesting exhibition about the Photo booth with its main focus on the aesthetics of the photograph vending machine. I liked it so much that I wanted to share it here!

The exhibition is built in a way that approaches the variety of little sequence squared photos (mostly in B&W) taken by 60 international photographers, since the 20s when the first photo booths appeared.
It’s called Behind the Curtain – the Aesthetics of the Photobooth and between the photos below you will find small excerpts of the description that’s on the museum site. Information on the museum is posted at the end of this post.

As I said, it’s a really cool exhibition that you really enjoy visiting and the funniest part happens in the end, where there’s actually a real photo booth for you to take photos just like the ones you saw during your visit!
Obviously I didn’t take photos inside the rooms, but find below a few shots (taken with the Vignette App for Android) of the photo booth experience:


«When the first photobooths were set up in Paris in 1928, the Surrealists used them heavily and compulsively. In a few minutes, and for a small price, the machine offered them, through a portrait, an experience similar to automatic writing. Since then, generations of artists have been fascinated by the concept of the photobooth.»


«It [the exhibition] is divided into six major themes: the booth, the automated process, the strip, who am I ?, who are you ?, who are we ?.»


«By bringing together over 600 pieces made on different media (photographs, paintings, lithographs and videos) from sixty international artists, the exhibition reveals the influence of the photobooth within the artistic community, from its inception to the present day.»


Well, as you can see we didn’t noticed the first shot was coming, on the second one we’re still surprised it started without any warning, then we’re laughing about it on the third and finally we tried to save the last one doing something stupid! 😀 But that’s what the photo booth thing is all about, right?

The photograph used for the exhibition poster is the one below, a self-portrait of the British artist Gillian Wearing made when she was 17 years old:

Gillian Wearing, Self Portrait at 17 Years Old, 2003. Collection of Contemporary Art Fundació “ La Caixa ”, Barcelone © Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

«Her impassive face, in some way vulnerable, reminds of the introspective nature of the booth as one faces the reflection of one’s own image. The photobooth is also one of life’s milestones: reaching the age of majority requires an official identification and implies regular visits to the booth.»


Info & Links:
If you’re not far from the Leman Area make a quick visit to the Swiss side of the lake in a city named Lausanne, this exhibition is taking place there.
The Museum: Musée de l’Elysée
Address: 18, avenue de l’Elysée, 1014 Lausanne
(info on this particular exhibit here)
Practical information on opening hours/days, access, prices, etc. can be found here.

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