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Be always happy (2016)

Broströms, Uppsala

In 1862 the French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne published Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine, a study on the physiology of emotion. He was convinced that by learning to read the human facial expressions, he could also reach the soul of man. Duchenne also experimented with creating certain facial expressions by triggering muscular contractions with electrical probes. The richly illustrated Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine contain several photographs of these experiments.


For someone who was convinced that the facial expression was the key to the soul of man, creating artificial expressions by the use of electricity must be considered a paradox.

Duchenne de Boulogne, Synoptic plate 4, smile.

Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine (1862). Detail.

Image by Anna-Maria Hällgren
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