Pierre Mercier

Galerie Laage-Salomon

Pierre Mercier became known in the early ’80s through his remarkable “Portraits de travailleurs dans la rue” (Portraits of street workers, 1978–80) and “Statues du mineur” (Statues of the miner, 1981), works that analyzed, through photographs, the formal vocabulary and limitations of sculpture. Mercier continued to explore this theme in works such as Epreuve de lecture (Reading lesson, 1982), for which he photographed a model who stood on a pedestal, with book in hand in a pose characteristic of traditional sculpture, while the pedestal rotated. The work consisted of nine of these photographs, which fictitiously referred to as many points of view—or almost as many, since the last photograph was nearly identical to the first. Standing before this display, the viewer internalized an imagined movement: the circulation of his or her own body around the object, or, less likely, the rotation of

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