The work in progress “News” illustrates the theories developed by Jean Baudrillard in “La Société de Consommation” (1970) and in particular the idea according to which the characteristic of mass media would be "to impose through the systematic succession of messages the equivalence of history and news items, of event and show, of information and publicity, sign wise”.

At first glance, the work presents itself as a collection of black and white images "cut out" from newspapers around the world, an anachronistic device at once since news are more and more visited "online" and consequently the collection of newspaper clippings is becoming an outdated and eccentric custom.

If you look at it more closely – as a matter of fact, much closer, otherwise you don’t see it – the images don’t strictly relate to news from newspapers or the Internet since the artist has added some intruders; but due to the absolutely homogeneous presentation of the documents, it is difficult to detect the presence of "fakes".

 

In the first group of pictures, which aims to give the idea of ​​a much larger device, we find two intruders which are fakes in that the artist does not have access to the direct source, to the original information; these are events of a more distant history which accounts are archived and of which we can only obtain isolated images, unless we refer to a history book (but then they are no longer news), here the Holocaust, illustrated by a photo of a crematorium chimney, and "Hiroshima", illustrated by a generic nuclear test image. But we are talking about a case of "minor" falsification in the sense that the images correspond to real facts, even though, a little like metonymy in literature, and according to an extremely widespread use in the media, they remain partial and incomplete, slightly shifted from the object they designate.

The real "fake" of this small selection corresponds to the image of plastic ducks washing up on a beach, which is part of a fake report fabricated by the artist some years ago (Shipwreck I, 2012).

But in a certain way, the falsification of information (or the falsification of the image in favor of a pseudo-authenticity of the information?) is less problematic than the phenomenon described by Baudrillard of flattening the specific value of each sign in a general device which "divides the event and the world into discontinuous, successive, non-contradictory messages" and which leads to "consuming" in the same way the tragedy of the 2004 tsunami and the presence of a distracted elephant seal in the Argentinean pampa.

Beyond this very personal interpretation of Baudrillard's radical theories, the subversion of the work "News" lies in the arrangement of the images and the resulting narrative(s). Like a surrealist writing game, one image brings the next through a rudimentary process of association of ideas, while the blatant contrast of referents forces the (re)construction of an apocalyptic narrative.

News I
News I

9 prints on paper 250 x 190 cm 2020

News II
News II

9 prints on paper 250 x 190 cm 2020