Niklaus Spoerri: Who is Who
Edited by Jimmy Wales, Niklaus Spoerri, Irene Jost. Text by Jean-Martin Büttner, Jens Gross, Silvia Jaklitsch, Caroline Morpeth, Manfred Prisching, Markus Reich, Rudolf Scheutle, Jimmy Wales.
Johnny Depp stands in a small front room surrounded by incongruously cheap furnishings; Luciano Pavarotti raises a glass of wine to the camera in a similarly tiny room; Bruce Willis gives the camera his signature squint from his kitchen table; Frank Zappa buttons up his suit in a hallway mirror; Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones poses with his bullwhip on the lawn of his back garden. All of these celebrities are, of course, lookalikes, professional doubles portrayed in the comfort of their own homes by Niklaus Spoerri. Spoerri began the project in 2007, fascinated by the qualities of eeriness, inauthenticity and verisimilitude inherent to their profession and physical appearance. “I leave it up to the subjects themselves as to how much they explicitly want to reveal about themselves and their lookalike figure, and observe how they project themselves in front of the camera, how few or how many signs they make to reveal ‘their own’ original person within,” says Spoerri. Other “celebrities” portrayed here are Bono, Joan Collins, Jamie Lee Curtis, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minelli, Lionel Ritchie and Sharon Stone. Every one of Spoerri’s superb portraits compels a baffled or bemused doubletake.