chapter  4
Particular Faces with Universal Appeal
A Genealogy and Typology of Everybodies
WithAnna Schober
Pages 21

This chapter presents a theoretical and historical exploration of pictorial figuration of “everybodies”, i.e. general persons that are used in order to generate a public presence for one’s own position in public spaces and to address an audience. By drawing on the work of Michel de Certeau and Carlo Ginzburg, among others, it explores the genealogy of these figures by tracing them back to older forms of attraction figures that create public authority, such as “the all-seeing one”. In contrast to these authors, however, it also demonstrates, that in tension with such long lines of tradition these figures were revalued and redefined during the historical upheavals connected with the revolutions of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Finally, the chapter also depicts the main types of figuration of the everybody that were circulated with these upheavals. Referring to a broad range of historic and contemporary examples it demonstrates how, after these upheavals, everybodies are staged as figures who have been singled out from the people but are simultaneously shown as being connected to it, thus creating presence and persistence for the myth of the people as a powerful agent transforming society or as collective, named faces that function as a kind of mask for the group that gathers behind them. Besides this, everybodies are also staged as figures that traverse a variety of contexts, guiding the audience to different locations of society and towards society in general or as figurations of “otherthess”, who function as doppelgängers of the audience and lenses for self-analysis and social observation.