Fichés at the Archives National

 In > art culture design

This historical exhibition puts photography and civic identification from the Second Empire to the 1960s under the spotlight. A fascinating rummage through French police files from the mid nineteenth century to today, the exhibition reveals the reality of our civic identity in all its rawness; Cocteau for example, a ‘poet, anarchist and homosexual in Paris’, or Hitler, ‘a good demagogue’. The oldest documents on view survived the fire at the  police headquarters in Paris during the 1871 Commune and index the city’s ‘courtisanes’. These files manifest the usually concealed relationship between the individual and the state, and issues of protection and repression, resistance and consentment.  And of course, looking out from all this dry and dusty paperwork are thousands of powerful black-and-white portraits of France’s spies, prostitutes, homosexuals, opium addicts, anarchists, gypsies, and vagabonds…
Until 27 Dec. 6€/4€. 10am-12.30pm, 2-5.30pm. Closed Tue.
Archives National, Hôtel de Soubise, 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 3rd.

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