February 17th to May 20th, 2012

Chicago based A&A Studios was proud to present the Musée de l’Elysée this classic chemical photobooth that we rescued from decades of neglect and then meticulously resurrected. Like most of the classic photobooths we unearth, we found this machine in a rundown, dust-filled warehouse in Florida. Once back at our workshop in Chicago, our talented team began the extensive process of restoring the booth to its former mechanical and photographic splendor. After restoration, it was packed and shipped to the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland for the exhibition Behind the Curtain — the Aesthetics of the Photobooth. This photobooth now resides permanently at the Musée de l’Elysée, for patron use. It is currently one of the only operating chemical photobooths available for public use throughout all of Switzerland. It is our hope that this photobooth will continue to bring enjoyment, one strip at a time, for years to come. At A&A Studios we view each of our projects as adding a new page to the idiosyncratic and wonderful history of the photobooth.

A&A Studios (AKA 312photobooth) is a custom design and vintage photo booth restoration house. We specialize in chemical photobooth restoration and building digital-retro style machines. A&A Studios is dedicated to preserving the beauty of vintage photobooths and the legacy of analog photography.

When the first photobooths were set up in Paris in 1928, the Surrealists used them heavily and compulsively. In a few minutes, and for a small price, the machine offered them, through a portrait, an experience similar to automatic writing. Since then, generations of artists have been fascinated by the concept of the photobooth. From Andy Warhol to Arnulf Rainer, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing, many used it to play with their identity, tell stories, or simply create worlds.

Behind the Curtain - the Aesthetics of the Photobooth, an exhibition created by the Musée de l’Elysée, is the first to focus on the aesthetics of the photobooth. It is divided into six major themes: the booth, the automated process, the strip, who am I ?, who are you ?, who are we ?. Provider of standardized legal portraits, it is the ideal tool for introspection and reflection on others, whether individually or in groups. By bringing together over 600 pieces made on different media (photographs, paintings, lithographs and videos) from sixty international artists, the exhibition reveals the influence of the photobooth within the artistic community, from its inception to the present day.

Lorsque les premières cabines de photomaton furent installées à Paris en 1928, les surréalistes en firent un usage intensif et compulsif. En quelques minutes, et pour une somme modique, la machine leur offrait, dans le domaine du portrait, une expérience similaire à celle de l’écriture automatique. Depuis, des générations d’artistes ont été fascinées par le principe du photomaton. De Andy Warhol à Arnulf Rainer, en passant par Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman, ou Gillian Wearing, ils sont nombreux à s’être emparés du photomaton pour jouer avec leur identité, raconter des histoires, ou faire des mondes.

Derrière le rideau - L’Esthétique Photomaton, une création du Musée de l’Elysée, est la première étude consacrée à l’esthétique du photomaton, divisée en six grandes sections thématiques : la cabine, l’automatisme, le principe de la bande, qui suis-je?, qui es-tu?, qui sommes-nous?. Pourvoyeur des portraits normalisés légaux, il est en effet l’outil idéal de l’introspection et offre une réflexion sur autrui, individuellement ou en groupe. En réunissant plus de 600 oeuvres réalisées sur différents médias (photographies, huiles sur toile, lithographies et vidéos) par une soixantaine d’artistes internationaux, l’exposition révèle l’influence du photomaton au sein du milieu artistique depuis sa création jusqu’à nos jours.

Jean-Michel Alberola, Louis Aragon, Marie-Berthe Aurenche, Richard Avedon, Alain Baczynsky, Jared Bark, Marc Bellini, Jacques-André Boiffard, André Breton, Hansjürg Buchmeier, Anita Cruz-Eberhard, Sabine Delafon, Anne Deleporte, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Michael Fent, Michel Folco, Valentine Fournier, Lee Friedlander, Näkki Goranin, Jeff Grostern, Susan Hiller, Dick Jewell , Svetlana Khachaturova, Jürgen Klauke, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Naomi Leibowitz, Leon Levinstein, Annette Messager, Willy Michel, Daniel Minnick, Suzanne Muzard, Raynal Pellicer, Mathieu Pernot, Steven Pippin, Jacques Prévert, Raymond Queneau, Arnulf Rainer, Timm Rautert, Bruno Richard, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Ruff, Michel Salsmann, Tomoko Sawada, Joachim Schmid, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Dimitri Soulas, Yves Tanguy, Amanda Tetrault, Roland Topor, Franco Vaccari, Andy Warhol, Gillian Wearing, Jan Wenzel, David Wojnarowicz and the group Fluxus.
Clément Chéroux and Sam Stourdzé
With the collaboration of Anne Lacoste

Exhibition Copy Provided by: http://www.elysee.ch/en/no_cache/exhibitions/detail/article/behind-the-curtain-the-aesthetics-of-the-photobooth/