Robin Orams

Media of Emotions

In the 19th Century, French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne used electrodes and photography to simulate and document ‘natural’ facial expressions. He also intended that his photographs would provide a guide for artists when depicting human emotions. But these images did not depict the expression of real human emotions—Duchenne created them by electrically stimulating the muscles in the faces of his models, most of whom were his patients.

This painting investigates Duchenne’s theatre of facial expressions, and highlights the friction between reality and appearance, and science and art.

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