Michel Salsmann


Born in 1948 in Colmar, painter, etcher and photographer Michel Salsmann is interested in the memory of faces. Since 1964, he photographs himself daily and has accumulated several dozens of thousands of self-portraits. Salsmann is fascinated by the automatism of the device that guarantees a certain standardization of the images. The artist is some kind of a time traveler who explores himself in every composition of the being; and the machine allows him to record with a similar rigor the multiple variances and variations of his face, without ever revealing anything of his intimacy. In 1995, he starts to scan his portraits and to superpose them in a progressive chronological sequence. These digital multilayered prints thus produce quasi-generic faces, if not enigmatic. Presented in series, these computer-generated images of aging reveal the dissolution of the face in time and are a reminder of the fact that they are but the reflection of appearance. (Credit: MS. 6594 © Michel Salsmann / Collection Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne)