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The negative is the primary alienation of the reality.
The paper negative goes back to the invention of photography by Fox Talbot. The paper negatives were originally used to make positive prints afterwards. They weren't final images, but a technical step between the reality and the positive print.
The Dadaists and the Surrealists started to use it as an image on its own and as such it became a part of their visual language. Afterwards negative prints became more common and were used by a lot of photographers.
In this part of the website we show 24 paper negatives, part of Tatouage, Sources of Surrealist photography.
The paper negatives made by Jules Lejeune are real camera negatives that were used to make Pictorialist bromoils. These unique paper negatives are sometimes treated on the back with pencil. They give a very good view into the technique of Jules Lejeune. He was searching for a technique that could help to manipulate the reality in order to create an unexisting beauty.
The paper negatives made by Mount Palomar are a part of an astronomical atlas and are scientific documents used to study the sky. These negative prints come in pairs and are very rare.