France Face Lost

A critical work on national identity, Musée national is a wide-ranging series of contextual portraits of Frenchmen and Frenchwomen, each wearing an identical mask.

Defacing and freezing the subjects, the mask casts daily surroundings in an estranging light, revealing the stereotypes upon which the subjects build their lives. Showing France as a folk or wax museum, the series exposes a country whose people, fearful of the future, increasingly define their identities in terms of heritage and « sites of memory ».

In the last eleven years, more than five hundred people across France have been photographed masked. A broad synthesis of the series was published in 2014 with a foreword by Michel Houellebecq and a conversation with Frédéric Bouglé.