“The far right diverts from its meaning an image which symbolizes fraternity and living together” | EUROtoday

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In the video posted by Jordan Bardella on June 17, 2024, the president of the National Rally speaks next to the “Marianne” of the artist Shepard Fairey, alias Obey.

Diverted by the RN

To grasp actuality, the thinker Roland Barthes affirmed that it was essential to decipher its “signs”, probably the most emblematic objects and, much more, their presentation. In two movies, one aimed on the French, the opposite at ladies, posted on-line on June 13 and June 17 within the run-up to the legislative elections, Jordan Bardella, the president of the National Rally, seems seated behind a desk with within the background on the left the copy of a lithograph in blue-white-red colours. We acknowledge Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Marianne d’Obey, the pseudonym of the American Shepard Fairey. This fervent defender of minorities, engaged in Barack Obama's marketing campaign in 2008, is nonetheless removed from sharing the ideology of the National Rally, which targets immigrants and claims nationwide choice. Contacted by M, the road artist is sorry about this reappropriation: “The far right diverts from its meaning an image which symbolizes fraternity and living together, to make it mean something completely different, nationalist withdrawal. » By displaying this lithograph, Jordan Bardella, whose staff did not respond to our requests, kills two birds with one stone: he targets a young electorate and he taunts Emmanuel Macron, who had made this work his mascot during his 2017 presidential campaign.

Loaned to the Elysée

It was in February 2017 that this Marianne appeared in Emmanuel Macron's campaign HQ. The painting belongs to Jean-Marc Dumontet, then close advisor to the En marche! candidate. “The idea was not at all to make it a communication tool,” defends the present producer, who needs to level out that he “lent and not given” the work to the President of the Republic. Invited twice to the Elysée, Obey admits to having been flattered to see his Marianne hanging within the nook workplace of the palace. “Emmanuel Macron was a better choice than Marine Le Pen”, confides the artist. The portray has since been taken down from the presidential workplace. “But she is still somewhere at the Elysée”, affirms Jean-Marc Dumontet, who finds “ideologically shocking” the restoration of this picture by Jordan Bardella. “Basically, it looks like a little plagiarist. »

Available in fresco

Obey had imagined this Marianne in support of the victims of the attacks of November 13, 2015. The image, whose graphics are both a political tract and Art Nouveau iconography, was declined the following year in a monumental fresco on the facade of a building on Boulevard Vincent-Auriol, in the 13e district of Paris. Attached to the spirit of sharing conveyed by his work, Shepard Fairey has made this image open source, allowing anyone to download it for free from obeygiant.com, his site. “This Marianne has something universal, she makes sense for everyone”, he mentioned, earlier than including: “She doesn’t belong to any political social gathering. »

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https://www.lemonde.fr/m-le-mag/article/2024/06/17/shepard-fairey-alias-obey-l-extreme-droite-detourne-de-son-sens-une-image-qui-symbolise-la-fraternite-et-le-vivre-ensemble_6240966_4500055.html