press release

The Musée de l’Elysée presents one of the first exhibitions devoted to the history of the slide, from its inception in the second half of the 19th century to today. No prints on the wall this time but twenty projected works allowing for a sensorial immersion.

In the tradition of magic lanterns, projected photography constitutes an alternative way of spreading images. Popular in the 1850s and used for a long time as a teaching tool as well as for popular entertainment, it first attracts amateur photographers. Some well-known photographers used projections until the 1950s, but it wasn’t until 1960 to 1970 that the slide really took hold within the artistic community when it was adopted by designers, architects and conceptual artists. The exhibition, organized in four major sections—the light-images, the apparatus, sequence and screening—reveals the uniqueness of the slide. It illustrates the diversity of its practices and its impact on visual culture.

In the accompanying book Slides. The History of Projected Photography, the introduction reads “The slide is distinguished primarily by its intrinsic duality: a positive, manipulable image on a transparent medium, which attains an enlarged, luminous, lively form by means of the beam of light that passes through it. Owing to the fact that its existence was subject to the duration of its illumination, this diaphanous image struggled to establish itself as an esthetic form in photographic circles that favored the printed object and long limited this image to its uses by the public or to applied photography.”

The exhibition includes works by: Marcel Broodthaers (1924–76) / Jan Dibbets (1941) / Charles (1907–78) et Ray (1912–88) Eames / Peter Fischli (1952) et David Weiss (1946–2012) / Ceal Floyer (1968) / Gisèle Freund (1908–2000) / Bertrand Gadenne (1951) / Jules Gervais-Courtellemont (1863–1931) / Nan Goldin (1953) / Dan Graham (1942) / Lewis W. Hine (1874–1940) / Gerard Ifert (1928) et Rudi Meyer (1943) / Ken Isaacs (1927–2016) / Runo Lagomarsino (1977) / Frederick (1809–79) et William (1807–74) Langenheim / Le Corbusier (1887–1965) / Helen Levitt (1913–2009) / Antonin Personnaz (1854–1936) / Josef Svoboda (1920–2002) / Alain Sabatier (1945) / Allan Sekula (1951–2013) / Robert Smithson (1938–73) / Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) / Krzysztof Wodiczko (1943)

Curators: Anne Lacoste, Nathalie Boulouch, Olivier Lugon, Carole Sandrin, with the assistance of Emilie Delcambre Hirsch