The American Trick

Multiple portrait, associated in Poland mostly with the archives of Marcel Duchamp and Witkacy, was one of the most popular photographic games in the early 20th century. Private collections and home archives still hide photographs with multiplied reflections of models. The Russians called it the “American trick,” while the Americans referred to it as multiphotography. It arrived to Poland thanks to Witkacy, who brought the idea from St. Petersburg. The exhibition will feature a unique collection of multiple portraits from all over the world, many of which are anonymous. They exemplify a typical form of non-artistic, vernacular photography whose historical and market value is still under-appreciated. During the private view, a multiple portrait station will be open for the use of guests. 

The exhibition accompanies the launch of the Polish translation of the book Vernaculaires. Essais d’histoire de la photographie (The Vernacular. Essays in the History of Photography) by Clément Chéroux, one of the most interesting contemporary critics and curators of photography.

The book, comprising seven essays, tells the story of one of the least investigated and, at the same time, one of the richest areas of photography: applied and non-artistic photography. 

The American Trick. Multiple Portraits from the collection of Ewa Franczak and Stefan Okołowicz
Part of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend
Private view: September 26 (Friday), 7pm
ul. Andersa 13, next to staircase no. VII, Warsaw
Exhibition open September 27 – October 24, 2014 

opening hours: 
Mon, Thu, Fri: 11am-5pm
Tue, Wed: 11am-7pm
Book launch: October 2014, publisher: Archaelogy of Photography Foundation.

The event is part of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend programme.

The book was published thanks to the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Department for Culture of the Embassy of France in Poland, as part of the Publishing Support Programme BOY-ŻELEŃSKI. 




Andersa 13 is used by the Archaeology of Photography Foundation for cultural purposes thanks to the support of the City of Warsaw’s Śródmieście District.

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