Musée de la photographie, Charleroi

From May 24, 2014 to December 07, 2014

Assassinat Delaporte, étude de la tenue des mains sur la hache par Reiss, Gimel, janvier 1910

THE SCENE OF THE CRIME - RODOLPHE A. REISSE (1875-1929)


Scientific police photographs are very rarely presented to the public, remaining stored for many years in confidential files because they transgress taboos when their subjects are violent death and crime. These pictures, taken almost a hundred years ago by Rodolphe Archibald Reiss, founder of the l’Institut de police scientifique of the Université de Lausanne, reveal their entire aesthetic dimension while retaining their intense emotional strength. As a forensic science pioneer, Reiss shows photographic skills which are unequalled in this field.


As the investigators’ artificial memory, the photographs were taken in a very formal style to document crime scenes and clues discovered as unemotionally as possible. They are all associated with Reiss’s teaching or expert evaluations. They allow us to see unusual sites and environments and, paradoxically, are often formally very abstract. The boundary between reality and the imaginary remains unbroken here. Situated between the acts and their representation, these photographs are filled with unusual emotion due to the dramatic circumstances which they retrace.

The Musée de l'Elysée presents at the Musée de la photographie of Charleroi a version of the exhibition produced in collaboration with the Institut de police scientifique of the Université de Lausanne.

Musée de la photographie
, Charleroi
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