Zorro, or the Portrait of Another

For almost thirty years a man indulges, photographically, in a double life. In the privacy of his apartment he dresses up strangely and performs for the camera in a tirelessly repeated operation. No matter that the photography system is improvised and clumsy, that nobody else will see these images.

Zorro, or the Portrait of Another
In a fusion of mise en scène and photography he gives visible shape to his fantasy, recreating himself as a hero and achieving self-induced pleasure. Taken between 1940 and 1970, this group of some 100 photographs had remained meticulously hidden in a sealed envelope. Having no information whatever regarding their originator, we spontaneously named him Zorro, the man with the whip. And decided to let the images speak for themselves. He is not the first obsessive practitioner of the self-portrait. From Hippolyte Bayard to Pierre Molinier, and including Claude Cahun and Cindy Sherman, photographers have often turned their cameras on themselves, bringing brio and sometimes humour to their illustrations of Rimbaud’s celebrated “I is someone else”. For Zorro the selfportrait was a challenge rather than a game: an adventure of the imagination involving unmediated translation of the mental into the photographic; a compulsive creation unhampered by convention. There is none of the artist’s deliberation here: these are photographs of a naked obsession, and their power lies precisely in this impactful singularity. Marion and Philippe Jacquier
Zorro, or the Portrait of Another
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