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Jürgen Klauke

Born in 1943, German artist Jürgen Klauke is an important post-modern figure. Beginning in the early 1970s, he develops a conceptual approach to photography and stages himself in order to demonstrate his critical vision of the actual world. In 1976-1977, using the standards of identity photography, he produces “Social-psychological representations of the human figure”, a grid of a dozen uniform black and white images that differ only in terms of the varying mimic of the artist. Klauke associates word and image in order to denounce and deconstruct social-psychological clichés. The caption inscribed at the top of each photograph indicates names of occupations or stereotyped social characters (judge, anarchist, priest, murderer, etc…). The set is punctuated with self-portraits of the artist entitled “now serious”, “now smiling”, thus ironically showing the simplicity of this social convention and collective model. (Credit: Das menschliche Antlitz im Spiegel Soziologisch-Nervöser Prozesse (Les Représentations sociopsychologiques de la figure humaine) © Jürgen Klauke / Collection of the artist)