A tableau vivant reconstruction of Hippolyte Bayard's "Self-Portrait as a Drowned Man," the earliest staged photograph, in which Bayard displays himself as a corpse. On the reverse of the image he wrote that he, having been scooped by JL Daguerre for the credit of the invention of photography, has flung himself into the water in a fit of depression.
And yet this image made by a man of his own corpse is itself proof of its own inauthenticity, a paradox of indexicality and contextualization that remains at the heart of photographic discourse now more than ever. Furthermore, as a staged tableau vivant at an art party it invites the selfie-interventions and re-documentations that flatten experience and living body into the static, corpse-like apparition of Bayard's original.
Produced with the support of the Art Gallery of Ontario