Matthieu Laurette b. 1970
Deja Vu: The 2nd International Look-alike Convention at Castello di Rivoli (Making of) (2001-02)
Duration: 2 minutes, 26 seconds

Laurette invited look-alikes of celebrities in the arts and entertainment worlds to attend the gala cocktail hour and interact with Dia’s patrons and guests. Those in attendance were not aware of the project prior to the event. Slowly, as the look-alikes mingled with the crowd, guests began to see that some of the “celebrities” were imposters, causing them to question their ability to distinguish “real celebrities” from their doubles. Through his Look-Alike Conventions, Laurette explores the social dynamics of spectacle and celebrity as it permeates the protocols of the art world, highlighting society’s obsessive relationship with fame.

Among the 15 look-alikes who participated were Jennifer Aniston (Jeannine Gavlick), Roseanne Barr (Anne Kissel), Sean Connery (Bob Prussian), Robert De Niro (Joseph Manuella), Gloria Estefan (Marlene Suarez), Whoopi Goldberg (Tara McKee), Angelina Jolie (Maria Angelica), Bette Midler (Donna Maxon), Eddie Murphy (Joseph Hope), Conan O’Brien (Bruce Christensen), Diana Ross (Charlotte Fleming), Anna Nicole Smith (Jeanine Gearity), Howard Stern (Stewart Brodian), Rod Stewart (Carmine Cassino), and Harvey Weinstein (Stephen Arthur). Laurette arranged for a professional event photographer to document the cocktail hour and will commission a graphic designer to design a poster commemorating the “convention.”

Previous Déjà vu - International Look-Alike Conventions organized by Laurette, which have taken place at exhibition openings, have been held at Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2003); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania (2003); Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Australia (2002); Artsonje Center, Seoul (2002); Castello di Rivoli, Torino (2001); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2000).

Matthieu Laurette was born in 1970 in Villeneuve St Georges, France, Laurette currently lives and works in Paris and New York. His multi-media and performance works frequently utilize mass media and commercial marketing opportunities in an attempt to exploit the transformation of life into an endless accumulation of spectacles.