Trained at the École Nationale de la Photographie d'Arles, Mireille Loup brandished her penchant for the tragi-comic tone while still a student there. Curious and avid for theory, she writes a thesis on the "counterserious", partially informed by preliminary research on Marcel Broodthaers, in Brussels. Fascinated by the semiotic articulation of text and image, Mireille Loup dwells upon the rare captions accompanying photographs by Weegee and Magritte, but also upon the erotic caricatures by Michel-Ange. During this period she realizes autobiographical artist's books, such as the unique edition of Un jour il faudra que je pense à me marier (1994) (One of these days, I should think about getting married).
From the age of ten, Mireille Loup would go to the photo-booth once a week and compile her accumulating identities in specially designated photo albums, taking care to assign them respective genres such as PREPPY, sentimental, rock. It might be said that obe of the artist's first series originates with these childhood rituals. The work entitled, Chacun de mes visages, commenced in 1992, is an autobiographical request in the form of a work in progress. It is currently made up of 85 photographic portraits -staged or unstaged- and self-portraits of the artist, presented as a frieze on the wall. Tightly framed around Mireille Loup's face, the pictures run the gamut of genres, from instamatic flash photos, studio shoots, down to the most incredible and strange stagings. This important series represents the cornerstone of a body of already very coherent work, where the mastery of the narrative mode dominates.