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above Lyle Ashton Harris, America source

below The Head of Niobe, G.-B Duchenne de Boulogne from Mecanisme de la physionomie humaine (1862)

"The smooth forehead and level eyebrows do not show the sculpting produced by the expression of pain."



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 scans from Aesthetic Surgery by Angelika Taschen



The face of horror; the face of insanity


"The face-to-face eludes every category. For within it the face is given simultaneously as expression and as speech. Not only a glance, but as the original unity of glance and speech, eyes and mouth, that speaks, but also pronounces its hunger... This unity of the face precedes, in its signification, the dispersion of senses and organs of sensibility. Its signification is therefore irreducible.

Moreover, the face does not signify. It does not incarnate, envelop or signal anything other than self, soul, subjectivity, etc. Thought is speech, and its therefore immediately face. In this, the thematic of the face belongs to the most modern philosophy of language and of the body itself."

- Jacques Derrida



Unidentified artist, "The Muscle of the face" - G.B Duchenne de Boulogne, "The Muscle of Sadness"


Facial muscles, expression




"In Monster Reborn he sits next to himself in a double portrait. One of the images shows him as a perfectly ordinary young man, while the other is a distorted mirror image of himself with tape criss-crossing his face. A representation of a split personality where the artist refers to e.g. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, creating a picture of his own inner monster. At the same time, however, the picture takes on an ironic feel due to all the tape, which subverts the seriousness of the message. Even so, a remnant of the image of evil lingers."






scans from book 1000 Clowns more or less

by R. Thomas Steeler


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