Folios i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x

[ Home | catalogue|]

The First Folio

Experiments in Physiognomy 

Physiognomy is an 18th century theory that proclaimed a science for reading moral character and intelligence by studying the features of the face. Naturally the face of superior intellect and morality was also a perfect portrait of Johann Kaspar Lavater¸ . The idea that the human face could be intelligible excited scientists and philosophers alike. Such an x-ray into the human soul could also function as a biological lie detector, a barometer of emotional status or as a beacon for psychological disorder. In the nineteenth century Physiognomy became the basis for sub-theories in anthropology, natural science, psychology and metaphysics. Lavater 's theory also seemed to confirm such popular beliefs as; truth is beautiful , eyes are windows to the soul , and actors are possessed by demons. Nowhere, however, did Lavater's theory of Physiognomy enjoy than among documentary photographers, for they, perhaps even more desperately than Lavater, depended upon an infallible, immutable link between truth and the surface appearance of things. Ironically Physiognomy seems also to have inspired the work of many photomontagists who traditionally manipulated photographic forms to create new meanings.

In his famous manifesto Ich schneide und nähe Gesichter für ein Leben. John Heartfield writes "Physiognomy has taught us that if a man has a hard and downward bending nose of great length then he possesses an arrogant soul, so I will break his nose and push it upwards towards the sky to make him humble".

 

Head with hooks and wire cable: Anterior

Salted Silver print
Blanquart Evrard   l’imprimerie photographique , circa 1850

Height 30 cm (12 in.),  width 30cm (12 in.) 8 in.)

  F1Q1 KhQ:  wq

Immobilized Head with metal cables :

Salted Silver print
Blanquart Evrard   l’imprimerie photographique , circa 1850

Height 30 cm (12 in.),  width 30cm (12 in.) 8 in.)

 F1Q2  ShQ:  wq

Head in Rotation: 3/4

Salted Silver print
Blanquart Evrard   l’imprimerie photographique , circa 1850

Height 30 cm (12 in.),  width 30cm (12 in.) 8 in.)

F1Q3 KyD:  gh

Head with cables

Salted Silver print
Blanquart Evrard   l’imprimerie photographique , circa 1850

Height 30 cm (12 in.),  width 30cm (12 in.) 8 in.)

F1Q4 DhQ:  wt