Author: Nathalie Léger
Translator: Amanda Demarco
Publisher: Dorothy, A Publishing Project (2020)
Exposition is the first in a triptych of books by the award-winning writer and archivist Nathalie Léger that includes Suite for Barbara Loden and The White Dress. In each, Léger sets the story of a female artist against the background of her own life and research––an archivist's journey into the self, into the lives that history hides from us. Here, Léger's subject is the Countess of Castiglione (1837-1899), who at the dawn of photography dedicated herself to becoming the most photographed woman in the world, modeling for hundreds of photos, including "Scherzo di Follia," among the most famous in history. Set long before our own "selfie" age, Exposition is a remarkably modern investigation into the curses of beauty, fame, vanity, and age, as well as the obsessive drive to control and commodify one's image.