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Picturing the Strange and Surreal World of Duos and Dopplegangers

See double with this collection of unexpected pairings.

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(Photo: Kostis Fokas/ compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

Humans have long had a fascination with duos and doubles. The ancient Egyptians believed that every person had a ka, a spirit version of themselves. In German folklore, meeting your double—your dopplegängerwas a sinister occurrence that lead to death. And then of course there is the more literal double, the twin. Around the world there are yearly twin festivals, including, suitably, in Twinsburg, Ohio. 

This is the subject of a new photo book, Two of a Kind. The book grew from a blog by Sandrine Kerfante titled Twin-niwt, where she collected “images on the themes of reflection, doubles, symmetry and twins.” As she writes in the introduction, “These shots are the witnesses to the great paradox of the double: one after another they beckon, offering both reconciliation and opposition.”

In one photo, two sets of jeans-clad legs dangle over a beige wall. In another, a pair of horse-shaped balloons hover together on a ceiling, as though surveying the room below. These images have been drawn from photographers all around the world, but they all share a slightly surreal quality. AO has a selection from this an intriguing ode to clones and doubles.

(Photo: Matthias Heiderich/ compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

(Photo: Frieke Janssens/ compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

(Photo: Matthew Schenning/ compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

(Photo: Lukas Cetera/compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

(Photo: Samm Blake/ compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

(Photo: Carson Gilliland/ compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

(Photo: Paula Perrier/ compilation © 2016 by Sandrine Kerfante)

The cover of Two of a Kind by Sandrine Kerfante, published by Chronicle Books. (Photo: Courtesy Chronicle Books)