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In Le Journal de la Photographie Today

miami airport, buddies


Summer is winding down, and this photograph appears
today in Le Journal de la Photographie, maybe because it is time for everybody to fly back home.

Shot in Miami airport in June 2012 coming back from Paris.


L'été touche à sa fin, et ainsi apparait aujourd'hui cette photo dans
Le Journal de la Photographie puisqu'il est temps pour la plupart de rentrer à la maison.

Fait à l'aéroport de Miami, rentrant de Paris en Juin 2012. Le titre Français pourrait être "Meilleurs Amis à Miami."


John Hope Franklin Papers Donated to Duke


John Franklin, son of John Hope Franklin, evoking his father's History with Duke during the Reception Friday September 14, 2012.

John Franklin, son of John Hope Franklin, gave his father's papers to Duke who will preserve them in its library. The photographs here are from the reception given on this occasion in the Duke Perkins Library Gothic Reading Room, in presence of President Brodhead and several other Durham personalities. Also present were the John Hope Franklin Young Scholars, a nursery thinktank sponsored by Duke, comprising of children from Durham Public Schools selected for their intellectual talents and interest in History.


John Franklin, fils John Hope Franklin , a donné les notes de son père à l'Université de Duke qui les préservera et les mettra à la disposition du public. Ces photographies sont issues de la réception donnée en cette occasion dans la chambre de lecture gothique de la bibliothèque Perkins de Duke en présence de son Président, M. Richard H. Brodhead ainsi que diverses personnalités de Durham. L'assemblée comptait aussi les John Hope Franklin Jeunes Académiciens, un groupe de recherche junior à l'initiative de Duke et composé d'élèves des écoles publiques de Durham sélectionnés pour leurs aptitudes intellectuelles et intérêt pour l'histoire.





Occupy Wall Street Portfolio in Photo technique Magazine

occupy wall street_Obama

Discret. 26 Octobre 2011, Zuccotti Park, Manhattan.


We bought our house 15 years ago. Two doors down lived a fellow and his wife. We eventually started to talk, and when we had our daughters, they became friends. During those years we have had countless dinners together and countless walks strategizing the political future of the nation.

The fellow, Rodrigo Dorfman, turned out to be a filmmaker, and last June he asked if he could make a documentary about me. For years he had quietly observed me do my thing and had started to envision a story, a character. I respected a strategic delay of a few minutes but eventually gave him the only possible answer, and we filmed epically during the summer of 2011.

Rodrigo and I had both lamented for years about the political apathy in America, why Americans seem- ingly never take it to the streets as in notably Latin countries, from France to Argentina. Consequently,
when Occupy Wall Street exploded the status quo (although the movie was already in editing stage) we had to include our vision of the movement regardless of the impact on our timeline for submitting our film to festivals.
I photograph a lot of different situations, from nature to protests, urban myths and political events. I shoot as much as possible with a Hasselblad 503 CX, unless it is indoors. That allows me to make prints up to 43 inches wide. Size matters: a photojournalistic style photograph that large is like a sledgehammer com- pared to a regular hammer. When I need to be lighter, faster or more intimate, I pick up the Leicas.

The Leica M is the ultimate in comfort and elegance for reportage. It is quiet, quick and the lenses are super crisp. Ultimately the Leica is more conforming to the traditional “raw” feel of photojournalism, while a Has- selblad photograph, with its optical stylization of the out-of-focus and its crystalline resolution and square- ness, has a more sophisticated allure.

For all its press coverage, it was difficult for me to know what to anticipate at OWS. Would the lack of light mandate the use of the Leicas? Surely there would be a need for the Blad, but who wants to haul that all day and have it in the way for little use? I am not good at compromising and therefore needed to decide on location.

We adapted our traveling style to the 99 Percent motto and went up with an overnight bus. It would test our physical resilience and we arrived in Chinatown later than planned due to a mechanical failure of the bus. I ended up using the Hasselblad very little, although it produced a couple of extremely precious photographs. But on the whole, because of the low light level, the Leicas were technically required, as well as better suited to this rather unglamorous environment.
For gear I typically have two Leica M6 TTL bodies with me: one with Ektar 100 film, and one with Ilford FP4 Plus film. I can hand hold to 1/15th, 1/8th if I have to, and I also use a Manfrotto monopod when needed. Except for the Hasselblad that I just carry on my shoulder, everything fits in pouches on my Think- tank pro speed belt, the only belt that stays at the right length even under stress. The Leicas fit nicely in Thinktank “Skin 50s.” This is the best and fastest way I can deal with my gear as well as last a whole day with this kind of load. I also have a beautiful Thinktank Airport Security rolling case when the full Hasselblad gear, including the shifting bodies, is needed.

In places like OWS I am definitely happy to shoot film. Because of the larger dynamic range it can absorb (which there was huge) due to the difference between the light down low and the sky or the reflections of the glass of the buildings. My Hasselblad scanner can extract every detail on the negative, and all that has more resolution than the digital capture equivalent. It is more work for sure, but I also like the organic nature of the photographs. A little grain gives substance to an image, while no grain is “plastic looking.” I don’t do “faux grain.”

I am a one-man orchestra. Apart from the raw materials, I do everything including mixing my own chemical formulas. I process my black and white films in PMK, the developer that should warrant a statue somewhere for its inventor Gordon Hutchings. I also process my own color, thanks to my JOBO processor that Greg Blank resurrected from the dead. The JOBO gives me the cleanest possible color negatives I have ever achieved. I proof scan everything with my Epson V750 and Silverfast Studio 8 (see the article in July/August 2010 photo technique).

Coming up with oversized enlargements from negatives captured on the fly requires low blood pressure and low speed film. I use Noise Ninja soft- ware which is a must in color and in the stratospheric levels of enlargement ratios in black and white. I also use Perfect Resize from OnOne Software, without which I could not fully enlarge the Hasselblad negatives.

The new keystone of my production is my Eizo ColorEdge CG 275 W monitor which gives me a lot of viewing real estate. It is a high precision device, with a built in calibration system that has resolved the color management issues that had plagued me since switching to Snow Leopard. I print most of my work on Museo Portfolio Rag, which gives me the crispest prints with the right amount of warmth and the highest Dmax I have found.

Following the completion of Rodrigo Dorfman's film on my work, Monsieur Contraste, Photo technique magazine has published in its May/June issue 2012, a portfolio on my series on the historic Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti park, Downtown Manhattan.
The article is in the left column and the pages of the magazine are inserted (click to enlarge). The article may be dowloaded in pdf format here.

The entire Occupy Wall Street series may be viewed on this blog

Greg Blank (my Jobo repairman) may be reached at 410-795-7734.


Suite à la finalisation du film sur mon travail par Rodrigo :,
Monsieur Contraste, le magazine américain Photo technique publie dans son numéro de Mai/Juin 2012, un portfolio sur ma série traitant de Occupy Wall Street,
le site historique du mouvement qui a changé la façon dont l'Amérique ressent son establishment. L'article (en Anglais) est dans la colonne de gauche, et les pages du magazine sont insérées (cliquer pour agrandir). L'article peut être déchargé en format PDF ici.

La série entière peut être vue dans ce blog,


Twenty Years Ago

Rodney King First Trial


ON PAYE CONTENT: c'est le titre de cette photographie, dû au signe dans la vitrine "Ni chèque ni crédit," en d'autres termes "On paye comptant," dont j'ai modifié l'orthographe afin de jouer avec l'humeur des protagonistes.

J'ai pris cette photo il y a 20 ans, en 1992, le jour (ou peu après) le premier verdict du procès qui vit l'acquittement des policiers impliqués, résultant en un soulèvement populaire à Los Angeles, dont le centre fut mis à feu et à sang suite au caractère révoltant de l'acquittement en question.

Je visitais ma future épouse à Chapel Hill, et mon niveau en l'anglais à l'époque, ne me permettais pas de comprendre la radio ou la télévision. Voyageant de surcroît, je n'étais pas au courant des derniers évènements. C'est ainsi que je retournai chez ce coiffeur de Raleigh, chez lequel j'avais remarqué la veille une lumière saisissante vers 17:00. Le propriétaire me permis de prendre des photos, et c'est ainsi que celle-ci fut prise. Ce n'est que plus tard, parlant de mon expérience à Trisha, qu'elle mentionna les évènements de Los Angeles, sans doute à l'origine de la tension palpable dans cette photographie.

J'en fis rapidement un tirage pour mon portfolio, mais ce n'est qu'en 2006, pour mon exposition "Life on Mars" que j'en fis un tirage d'exposition en 50 x 60. Ce tirage est très difficile dû à la différence de lumination dans le sujet. Avec le masque approprié, une infinité d'expositions, une harmonisation au ferrycyanure, je suis parvenu à faire quelques tirages qui maintiennent un excellent contraste, très dynamique, tout en préservant les détails requis dans les ombres et hautes lumières, tout cela dans un ton très chaud, ce qui est toujours difficile lorsque l'on souhaite un contraste tonique.

J'ai un tirage parfait tiré sur Forte PolyWarmtone Fibre, un papier qui n'existe plus. C'est là un tirage exceptionnel aux qualités historiques peu courantes pour le collectionneur visionnaire. J'ai aussi une poignée de tirages excellents mais avec de petits défauts qui ne les rendent sans doutes pas rédhibitoires.
Voir liste et prix.


I took this photograph twenty years ago, a Friday of 1992, at 5:00 p.m. eastern time, in Raleigh, Wilmington Street, the day (or soon after) of the first Rodney King beating trial, the one in which the felon policemen were acquitted. Riots of earth quake magnitude ensued in L.A., which seems healthy.

At the time I was visiting my love, who was then living in Chapel Hill. I had already started to like photographing America, as I was surprised by its funk and grit, while our European imagination assumes something more in line with Star Wars. Trisha worked two jobs, so in the evening I was often alone while she was waiting tables. I would then take her car and venture outside of the usual circle. That is how I ended up at that barbershop. The day before I had noticed the light there, around 5:00, flowing that 50’s decorum so Americana-like, but I was on the late side. I therefore arrived earlier the following day.

The town was quiet, in those days Raleigh was somewhat sleepy anyway, but it did seem unusually calm, a little bit like the countryside before the storm, when the birds seem to bicker louder. In those days I could not understand the radio or TV in English, and was enjoying a news-free time outside of my own sphere. I had therefore no idea of what was going on, and stepped into the barbershop quite innocently. I asked the owner if I could take some photographs, he did not hesitate, and I proceeded with setting up my tripod. My subject was naturally going to be the chair by the front window, due to the light and that sign “No Checks, No Credit” which is at the origin of this photograph’s title.

I wondered why the fellows in this photograph were so stern looking, but was not complaining as that added more depth than otherwise. I used a little flash to tame the light some, and before long I was on my way, thanking everybody, probably leaving the fellows in the shop laughing and deriding that clueless Frenchman.

Back to France, I quickly made an 8x10 print for my portfolio, but only printed this exhibition size (21" tall) in 2006 for my show “Life on Mars, part I” at Through This Lens gallery in Durham. This was a very challenging print to make, notably due to the range of light, at the extreme, between the shadows and light blast on the white sleeve of the client’s shirt. With the appropriate mask, a litany of light passes and other techniques, I was able to produce a very dynamic print that still exhibits all the necessary details, on a very warm tone print.

I only have one perfect print of this photograph. Printed on Forte Poly Warmtone Fiber, a paper that does not exist anymore. That is a very rare historic print, available for the visionary collector. I also have a handful of very good prints with slight defects that may not be deterrent.

The title "On Paye Content" is a pun, paying with the same phonetic between "comptant" in French, which would apply to the fact of paying right now, referring to the sign "No Check, No Credit," while "Content" means happy. which the two fellows in the photograph do not seem to be.

See prints list at the Church of Photography.

Happy / Joyeux 2012

Art of War

Steve Jobs minus 30 percent


Enjoy a year with a globe rotating as much as ever.

J'espére que vous aimerez une année où le monde sera comme d'habitude en pleine évolution.


Rocking for Discomfort

Occupy Wall Street_On a Marvin Gaye Tune

On a Marvin Gaye Tune.
Zuccotti Park, October 28, 2011



Occupy Wall Street is about changing the way people think, it goes in the exact opposite direction that was America’s track for the past 30 years, and so far people follow. That is a true revolution, one with the most modern strategy : when people think differently, things change, deeper and for longer than the over way around.

I was lucky to be able to spend several days around Occupy Wall Street, in Zuccotti Park at the end of October, it was a true forum, a life laboratory where democracy was maybe not always pretty, but nevertheless at its best, as close as I can imagine of what it was in Athens, 2500 years ago. As the photographs below show, the creativity, the intensity of the reflection were astounding, and everyday would bring its own specific crop.

It is now gone, and many claim that is for the best. I don’t know, it seems very bourgeois to condemn the mess all this looked like from above and the sidelines, while much worse is tolerated elsewhere provided that it does not challenge the status quo. At any rate it is gone, but it is far from dead. It hibernates, and will blossom in full force in the spring. You can take it to the bank that this election year will be under its spell.

Occupy Wall Street_Class Warfare


Occupy Wall Street_Down to Basic

Open Fort

Occupy Wall Street_Move it Move it

Move it, Move it

Occupy Wall Street_ Frozen Sensuality

Frozen Sensuality

Occupy Wall Street

Le Cheval

Occupy Wall Street_Televised Revolution

Televised Revolution

Occupy Wall Street_Forever Anonymous

Forever Anonymous

Occupy Wall Street_AhAh

Ah Ah !

Occupy Wall Street_Where to Go

Where to Go

Occupy Wall Street_No Token Change

No Token Change

Occupy Wall Street_Something Different

Something Different

Occupy Wall Street_Le Quidam

Le Quidam

Occupy Wall Street_Musical Refrain

Musical Refrain

Occupy Wall Street


Occupy Wall Street_The Enforcers

The Enforcers

Occupy Wall Street_Mortgage Specialist

Mortgage Specialist

Occupy Wall Street_Discret


Occupy Wall Street_Forum


Occupy Wall Street_Bakunin Avenue

Bakunin Avenue

Occupy Wall Street_Born Again

Born Again

Occupy Wall Street_The News

The News

Occupy Wall Street_Troubling


Occupy Wall Street_Wayne and Bess

Wayne and Bess

Occupy Wall Street_La Main dans le Sac

La Main dans le Sac

Occupy Wall Street_Thou Shall be Good Neighbors

Thou Shall be Good Neighbors

Occupy Wall Street_Twilight Flash

Twilight Flash

Occupy Wall Street_Accross



La fonction de “Occupy Wall Street” est de changer le mode opérationnel de la pensée populaire. Le mouvement secoue la crasse, et part à fond de ballon dans la direction opposée de celle que les Etats Unis ont suivie depuis au-moins trente ans. Jusqu’à maintenant la population dans son ensemble, suit. Cela est une véritable révolution, une révolution à la stratégie parfaitement moderne : lorsque les gens pensent différemment, les choses changent plus facilement, mieux, et pour plus longtemps que si l’on impose un changement en espérant que les masses comprendront et s’adapteront. C’est un concept inverse à celui qui a prévalu historiquement de par le monde révolutionnaire universel.

J’ai eu la chance de pouvoir visiter le site historique de “Occupy Wall Street” à New York fin Octobre. C’était un forum effervescent, un laboratoire démocratique vivant, pas toujours très joli, mais où la démocratie bouillonnait, près de son apogée, aussi près que je puis imaginer de l' Athènes d’il y a 2500 ans. Comme les photographes ci dessus le montrent, la créativité, l’intensité de la réflexion y étaient surprenantes, et chaque jour amenait une nouvelle moisson.

Ce forum là n’est plus, et beaucoup se rassurent en disant que c’est mieux ainsi, même si il est un petit peu bourgeois de froncer le sourcil depuis ses hauteurs, à la vision contemplative d’une expérience parfois désordonnée, cafouilleuse et pas très bien mise, alors que l’on laisse filer sans histoire des situations bien pires mais qui ne clament pas la couverture des journaux ni ne remettent le statu quo en cause. Enfin, quoi qu’il en soit, “Occupy Wall Street” tel qu’il est né, c’est fini, mais l’animal est loin d’être mort. Il hiberne, et reviendra avec le printemps, plus pétillant que jamais, et vous pouvez parier gros que les élections Américaines danseront au son de sa musique.


High Style Church

Church of Photography at Divinity School

he Duke Divinity School was welcoming artists, including the Church of Photography
in great style for its Pastor's Convocation on October 10, 2011.

High Style Church

The Duke Divinity School demonstrated masterful ecumenism in inviting the "
Church of Photography" for its first Art Fair associated with its annual "Pastors Convocation" on October 10, 2011. I did not ask, but I suspect that I was not the only atheist artist in the group,

church of photography in the divine
even if some clearly assumed, in spite of discernible evidences to the contrary, that our faith and was unshakable. Of course by "Atheist" I mean "not adept of any established religion" since it by now well known that we actually have faith in the superior power of photography and its Saints : Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams etc...

It is especially praise-worthy that this year's convocation was on the theme of Art and Religion,"
church of photoraphy and religion
notably since the Church was for centuries the prime venue for art, and art was then the Church's main asset toward evangelization, this clearly is not the case anymore, and has bot been for some time. What happened ?

As an art evangelist, I can only pray that this year's attendees will have at heart to reverse the established trend and will have understood that whether it is religion or politics, the mind absorbs ideas better from art than from typical preaching.

L'Eglise Grand Style

Le département de théologie de Duke ("Divinity School") vient de faire preuve d'un œcuménisme éblouissant en invitant "l'Eglise de la Photographie" pour son premier salon artistique associé à son annuelle "Pastor's Convocation" le 10 Octobre 2011. Je ne suis pas assez indélicat pour avoir demandé, mais je soupçonne ne pas avoir été le seul artiste athéiste du groupe, ce qui paraît tout de même remarquable. Il est vrai toutefois que clairement certains assumaient, en dépit de l'évidence, que notre présence en ces lieux presque saints, impliquaient que notre foi était comme la leur, inébranlable. Bien entendu, par "athéiste," entendez "qui n'est pas adepte d'une religion réputée conventionnelle." Car il est désormais bien connu que nous croyons dans le pouvoir supérieur de la photographie, et que nous honorons ses saints : Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Henri-Cartier Bresson, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, etc...

Il est bon de remarquer que la "Convocation" de cette année avait pour thème "L'art et la Religion." Les organisateurs souhaitaient ainsi promouvoir une réflexion sur ce qui avait bien pu se passer, lorsqu'au cours des siècles l'art avait pour le clergé les meilleures vertus évangélistes, alors qu'il s'impose de constater que les églises de tous poils de nos jours, ne font guère usage de l'art, qu'il soit contemporain ou pas.

Je ne suis pas utopiste au point d'espérer que ma production envahisse les murs des établissements religieux, mais il est pourtant vrai que l'esprit humain est plus perméable, consciemment ou pas, à l'impact de l'art qu'à celui du discours du prêcheur.


Independent of Reality

4th of July at Kroger

A Stubborn State of Mind

Kroger, Durham, N.C., June 29, 2011. / Kroger, Durham, Caroline du Nord, 29 Juin 2011


The fourth of July is coming up, and I saw this (see above) at the Grocery store. Few people were paying attention, notably because such a display seems out of whack with people's reality around here. What could possibly possess the fellow who came up with this "marketing" scheme at a time when America is really tired to be at war and does not see the point of it ?

This is closer to home :

Peace and happy Fourth of July to all Americans of good will.

Indépendamment de la Réalité

Le 4 juillet (Fête de l'Indépendance) approche, et que ne vois-je pas dans un supermarché ? Peu de gens y prêtèrent attention, sans doute tant cela était déconnecté de notre réalité ici à Durham. L'on peut se demander quel est le génie du marketing qui a pu fomenter un tel plan alors que l'Amérique en a assez d'être en guerre, et n'en voit plus le sens ?

Les photos du bas reflètent davantage l'atmosphère du quartier le 4 Juillet.

Paix à tous les Américains de bonne volonté.


Forum du Mouv' 31 décembre 2010

Wikileaks Shakes the U.S.
From the "N&O Clippings" series, December 4, 2010

Jean-Christian On Radio France Broadcast "Le Forum du Mouv, December 31, 2010


ERIC LANGE : And this is Jean-Christian who is with us, Good evening Jean-Christian.

J-C : Good evening Eric, how are you?

ERIC LANGE : Very well thanks, still in Durham in the United States ?

J-C : Oh yes, yes, we don't move from here, when one arrives to Durham you know, not only does one always come back, but also sometimes, one never leaves, like.

ERIC LANGE : Jean-Christian is one of those French, installed in the United States, since what ? Quite a long time now, isn't it ?

J-C : 17 years, 17 years.

ERIC LANGE : Here it is, and nevertheless, you never really integrated in America, did you, you keep an extremely critical eye ?

J-C : oh yes, yes, no, yes, I don't know, you know, when I immigrated here, I was full of good intentions, and then I had to face reality, and this is how I became the gesture, the one who says what the others often don't dare to utter, or even sometimes don't even see, because they are too Americans or too complacent. There is a lot of French who actually give me strange looks, I mean French folks from here, because I say .., I don't know, because I don't behave in a good, well disciplined immigrant fashion, but hey, that's life, one cannot change nature.

ERIC LANGE : But it seems to me that in the U.S. it is kind of tough to have political discussions, no ? Because folks don't want to argue with each others, they want to stay on the "enjoy" level, they don't want to fight.

J-C : Bingo! And you know, where I am it is the South, that is even worse. I fell that you did not really often went in the South, that your experience of the U.S. might be more North East or California bound, but here in the south, there is a culture of absolute complacency, never make any wave, it is an extremely conservative environment, as a matter of fact, it shows politically. The South which historically was Democrat, in fact because it went back to civil rights fights (Note to reader : yes sorry, got that wrong in the spur of the moment, I meant "Civil War"), when around 1968, Blacks got their more or less final emancipation, then the whites who had become Democrats, I don't even remember why... (Note to reader : "well yeah J-C, you can't remember because you were confusing historical facts) but there was a reason, although in fact they were "sunny days" Democrats, not real ones, hyper conservative Democrats, and now they have decided to be Republicans once in for all, which at least has the merit of being honest. So, yes, the South, that is very very conservative, and one tries to never say anything that would remotely be controversial.

ERIC LANGE : And that is quite astonishing, in an America where people are quite free speaking in the media, in books, in movies, conversely, between individuals there is much more difficulty to approach challenging topics.

J-C : But even in the media, there is never ... I don't know, I sometimes feel that in France we are freer in our tone, if you want. If one compares Radio France, France Inter and NPR, , the former are freer in their tone than on NPR ! For instance there is never any instance of sexual talk in the U.S., any. For instance I remember hearing Guillon rather recently on France iNter, and apparently that did not bring him luck, he was talking of "Dicks" "Balls, and so on. Never, never, will you hear that here, it is an absolutely taboo.

ERIC LANGE : You can't say "Fuck" in America.

J-C : Or even a language that may be remotely little crass, or a little Gaelic, oh no, absolutely not.

ERIC LANGE : In two words Jean-Christian, this year was important for you, you were featured in Le Mode, the newspaper Le Monde ?

J-C : Yes, yes, that was a high note. That was very satisfying, obviously, yes, that's very honorific. Additionally, I am probably part ... I am not absolutely sure of that, I don't know the statistics, but I assume that there is quite few people that have been published in Le Monde, both in writing and photography. Because most of time photographers don't write, and I am primarily a photographer. So yes, I was extremely flattered by this, yes.

ERIC LANGE : Jean-Christian, thanks a lot, Happy New Year, you are partying tonight ?

J-C : You are welcome, the pleasure is mine. I just wanted to add that what stands out for me in 2010, is Wikileaks. I heard the fellow earlier, who started his summary with Wikileaks, I think that was an important part of 2010, as a materialization of the fracture between the establishment on one side, and the people on the other, which found that Wikileaks in the end that was not that bad, they like it when the powerful get hit and their crap gets revealed. And it was also very revealing to see that fracture, even among journalists ...

ERIC LANGE : Yes ,yes. I don't know what you got in the U.S., in France all the so called pundits, you know, all the journalism establishment, all of a sudden when they saw Wikileaks arrive, all the syndicated columnists,everybody well installed in journalism in France were saying "oh but no, but that is not good, they have invented a new dictatorship of transparency ..." and when I saw all these guys, these well tinkling fellows, all those well established editorialists plus all the politics around, all undermining Wikileaks, of course I automatically thought that was something wonderful ...

J-C : I don't know if we are allowed to talk of ... It is not really a competitor, is it ? But on France inter there was a debate, either the day of, or the following one, they had invited in the morning show, Hubert Védrines, who as a start is not ... I was kind of disappointed by him, because here is one I used to have more respect for, So here he was, offended by ... or more exactly as the incarnation of the establishment offended by, saying that "Wikileaks.., where was the big deal ... They did not reveal anything that everybody did not already know etc ..." Which was not really true, as a matter off act, because it is not quite the same thing as hearing rumors, and all of a sudden seeing the cables from the U.S. Department of State verifying that all the suspicions we may have had were founded. And around the table, and that is what was most marvelous about it, on one hand you had Bernard Guetta, posing as the chief pundit, clearly associated with Védrines, those two seem to be very good friends, and across you had Thomas Legrand, whom I like very much, I love his writing style ... and they just got into it. Politely of course, on France Inter, we rest polite .... But between Bernard Guetta and Thomas Legrand, I though that was an extraordinary radio moment.

ERIC LANGE : I am very much with you, Wikilaks, that was a great event this year, it it will change the landscape. Thank you my dear Jean-Christian, we keep in touch ?

J-C : My pleasure, of course Eric, talk to you soon. Bye.

ERIC LANGE : All right, talk to you very soon, in a moment you come back on the air. We put some music, Marc Antoine says we need some music ...

Jean-Christian dans le Forum du Mouv, 31 Décembre 2010


Les Anglophones ont droit à une traduction (colonne de gauche). Dans le podcast inclus au bas de ce post, vous entendrez ma conversation avec Eric Lange dans l'émission de clôture de l'année 2010 qui récapitulait les temps forts des 12 mois écoulés. Nous y parlons notamment de comment Wikileaks secoua l'establishment et mis à jour la fracture entre d'un côté l'establishment et ses laquais, notamment ceux de la presse, les barons qui sont en charge de faire l'opinion, et de l'autre la masse de ceux qui en ont assez de la suffisance de l'establishment et de ses privilèges, et se régalent de voir les seigneurs révélés dans leurs duplicité.

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3


The Union Square Paradox

UnionSquare, Paradox

The Union Square Paradox
Manhattan, December 2009.

Le Paradoxe de Union Square
Manhattan, Décembre 2009.

The Union Square Paradox

We are on Union Square, Manhattan. You wouldn't know, it looks like a scene out of Brave New World. There are lads in the foreground, busy handing political flyers, it is Union Square after all. In the background is a very sleek, metal and glass building and on it some numbers keep changing as if it were a counter. A counter to count what? How many cars go by, what the production has been today, how much is left to do until the end of the month? Is it Brave New World or not?

I asked the folks in the photograph if they knew what those numbers were about. They did not, were not wondering either, I guess as long as it does not affect the taste of coffee... In fact I had already asked my wife before, and she had said that it was the national debt. I just wanted to be sure, because that was too much. Come on, a counter measuring the national debt on a Best Buy building? It is not Aldious Huxley now, rather Peter Sellers.

But everybody was adamant, my wife, Mario who has been living in NY for 30 years, and several older folks who have been around enough to pay attention. As a matter of fact, Google "Union Square Numbers" and you will find several docs who indeed acknowledge the urban legend:

This One (scroll down)

This other one

This one for good measure

In fact this has nothing to do with the national debt, it is modern art, like me. This is part of an art installation, a tribute to time done by artists Kristen Jones and Andrew Ginzel called The Metronome:

see Wilkipedia

We are in the fourth dimension.

Yes but then why is everybody convinced that this is the national debt figure? Because Americans know that they are in deep debt, and consequently a number with more digits than the brain can assimilate, has to be the debt, especially if displayed so conspicuously. Collective psychosis. Americans are in fact pretty much as much in debt as Europeans, except that at that price, they don't have the same common wealth in infrastructure, physical and social. Yet it is the Euro that goes down against the Dollar and the European economies which are presumably in such bad shape!

This is the God father of all paradoxes.

PODCAST : I have appeared on the French NPR (France Inter) in Eric Lange's show "Allo La Planéte" on June17, 2010 to speak about this photograh, the podcast is below.


Le Paradoxe de Union Square

“Union Square” parce que c’est là que cela se passe, à Manhattan. “Paradox” parce que ce qui s’y passe est paradoxal. Biensur il s’agit d’un univers comme si inspiré du Meilleur des Mondes, celui d’Aldious Huxley. On y voit des quidams qui s’agitent, dans tous les sens, et il y a un bâtiment, bien moderne, qui fait sérieux, comme celui du patron, avec tout un tas de chiffres qui défilent. Ca doit être un compteur, mais pour compter quoi? Les gens qui passent, combien ils produisent, ce qu’il reste à emmagasiner d'ici la fin du mois?

J’ai demandé aux gars dans l’image, si ils savaient à quelle sauce ils étaient comptés? Ils savaient pas, s’étaient pas posés la question. Sont pas curieux faut croire. En fait on dit que ces chiffres, ce sont ceux de la dette. Oui, LA DETTE! Ce qu’on doit, tous, enfin... eux, les Américains. C’est ce que la rumeur dit, si on demande à des ceusses qui ont une idée, ils disent tous, c’est la dette, pas d’exception, en fait c’est documenté, sur Google.

Ici (descendre dans la page)

Ici aussi

Ici encore

Incroyable non? Ben non, c’est pas incroyable, les ricains doivent un paquet au reste du monde, surtout les Chinois, alors, non, c’est pas incroyable.

Je veux dire que ce qui est incroyable c’est qu’on ait pu trouver un farceur qui soit aller placer le compteur de la dette sur le mur d’un magasin “Best Buy,” l'équivalent de Darty ou la FNAC. Fallait avoir envie de rire non? Du genre “allez, voyons voir si on peut s’endetter un peu plus aujourd’hui? En s’y mettant tous au doit pouvoir alléger les chintoks d’un milliard de plus...” Extraordinaire!!!

En fait, le problème, c’est que le compteur ne mesure absolument pas le dette. En fait c’est de l’art moderne, comme moi. Mais là c’est une sculpture, qui mesure le temps qui passe, qui est passé et qui reste d'ici à Minuit.

voir Wilkipedia

Un peu dure à suivre, mais rien d’autre qu’un hommage au temps, nous sommes dans la quatrième dimension.

Oui mais alors, pourquoi tout le monde croit-il que c’est la dette? Parce que les Américains sont aussi endettés que les Européens, et qu'un numéro avec plus de chiffres que le cerveau ne peut enregistrer, ce ne peut être que la dette, surtout si affiché sur un mur, comme un avertissement. Symptôme de psychose sous jacente. Surtout que à ce prix là, les Américains n'ont pas la moitié du patrimoine des Européens en terme d’infrastructure, tant matérielle que sociale. Mais c’est l’Euro qui baisse contre le Dollar, et les économies Européennes qui seraient au bord de la banqueroute.

Le pére de tous les Paradoxes!

PODCAST : j'ai été invité le 17 Juin 2010 dans "Allo la Planéte" l'émission d'Eric Lange sur France Inter pour parler de cette photo, et j'y fais aussi un appel du 18 Juin 2010 (l'émission commence à 23:00, mais continue le 18 Juin jusqu'à 1:00), pour offrir une vraie solution pour les retraites. Le podcast est ci dessous.



The Flag

The Flag

November 25, 2008

Since the election of Barack Obama, this November 4, we are told that some liberals, or should I probably say, “some progressive minded folks,” have started to fly the flag on their house. That's news. An article in the paper explained that these guys are proud of their country again, hence the display. This prompted the "nationalist guard" to write to the editor that these shameless Americans (these occasional flag wavers) should be proud of their country regardless of who is in the White house. Naturally this prompts one to wonder whether the pride for one's nation should be unconditional?

Le Drapeau

Le 25 Novembre 2008

Depuis l’élection de Barack Obama ce 4 Novembre, l'on nous dit que certains “gauchistes” ou encore “progressistes,” se sont mis à déployer le drapeau Américain sur leur maison, ce qui est nouveau. Le journal explique que ces derniers adeptes du drapeau à tous vents, sont redevenus fiers de leur pays, et veulent le faire savoir. Cela a rendu furieux les habituels agiteurs du dit drapeau, et certain écrirent au journal, clamant que ces mauvais Américains devraient être fiers de leur pays quel que soit son président. Naturellement l'on se demande alors si la fierté que chacun peut avoir pour sa patrie doit être inconditionelle?

AMERICA IN DENIAL. Mc Donald Drugstore, Durham, NC, September 2001

I have been living in this country for 15 plus years, and I am still not sure where that flag business comes from. I have always seen way more flags everywhere in this suburb of the world than anywhere I have been before, including banana republics. The only place where I have seen flags in approaching amounts is Switzerland, and yet, not to the U.S. extent. I am not sure whether it is a coincidence or not that Switzerland is a federal State as well. Clearly there was a resurgence of flags after 9/11, that can still be felt today, as one can always count on the nationalist crowd to be vocal. One of the laws of social genetics appearing to be that hawks always crow louder than doves.

As has been admitted by now, the U.S. in the aftermath of 9-11 missed a chance to build on the worldwide sympathy it then enjoyed. Instead, the Bush rulers opted for a reptilian type response with slogans like "you are either with us, or against us", telling Americans and the world, that terrorists were after their freedom, thereby building on the persistent myth that Americans are the freest people on earth. The sprouting of flags after 9-11 seems by and large to be a symptom of people responding favorably to those theories, hence my title for the photograph above, "America in Denial," which is also the title of my series on this subject: the omnipresence of the flag in today's America and its function as a tool to own Americans by the guts. See the Art series
HERE and a longer stock version on the American Flag HERE.

The photograph "Patriots' Warehouse" is especially rich. Of course the subject is rare. Only in America, and not every day, would one see in the western world such a full scale example of nationalism and military pride. This is a subject one would rather expect to find in U.S.S.R., North Korea, or the like. I was lucky to be allowed to take this photograph, and lucky to be able to find such an harmony of colors, lots of red and blue, the store and the flag colors blending, and that cart passing by on the foreground which brings life to the stripes of the flag.

Six years have passed. It is a different America, and here, in the photograph "Error in the War on Terror," it is a different crowd, a New York one, Bohemian, the current hippy, yet I find it symbolic of a different state of mind, one certainly less conservative than the rest of the nation, but not as divorced from it as it once was. Still a full crop of stripes, but "Why are we fighting?" says the barmaid's shirt.

Isn't it stupefying how fast reality has imposed itself to America?

Denial has certainly not vanished for good from American politics, but it has been severely defeated, and now the victors are claiming the flag too, which they say had been hijacked for too long by the nationalists.

It sure is a beautiful flag.

Cela fait plus de 15 ans que j'habite dans cette banlieue du monde, et je ne suis toujours pas certain de l'origine de cet engouement que beaucoup d' Américains ont, pour leur drapeau. J'ai toujours vu davantage de drapeaux ici que n'importe où j'ai pu aller dans le monde, y compris les républiques bananières. Le seul endroit que je connaisse où l'on puisse trouver l'étendard national dans une densité approchante, est la Suisse, mais tout de même pas dans une telle proportion. Le fait que la Suisse soit aussi un état fédéral n'est peut-être qu'une coincidence .

Il y a clairement eu une éruption de drapeaux après le 11 Septembre. On en voit toujours les signes, quoique amoindris, conséquence naturelle de la force vocale des nationalistes. Une des lois de la génétique sociale n'est-elle pas que les va-t-en guerre crient toujours plus forts que les pacifistes?

Il est désormais admis que après le 11 Septembre, les Etats Unis ont gâché l'élan de sympathie que les attentats leur avaient amené. Le régime Bush a opté pour une réaction de caractère reptilien avec des slogans comme "soit vous êtes avec nous, soit vous êtes contre nous," prétendant que les terroristes en avaient à la liberté des Américains, perpétuant par cela le mythe de la supériorité américaine en matière de libertés individuelles. Il semble que dans l'ensemble, le déferlement de drapeaux après le 11 Septembre soit un symptôme de l'adhésion populaire aux thèses de Bush, d'où le titre de la photographie ci-dessus. "America in Denial," ("L'Amérique en dénie") qui est aussi le titre de ma série sur le sujet de l'omniprésence du drapeau dans l'Amérique d'aujourd'hui, et de sa fonction comme outil permettant de prendre les foules par les tripes. Vous pouvez visioner Americal In Denial
ICI, et une version stock sur le drapeau Américain ICI.

La photographie "Patriots' Warehouse" est particulièrement riche. Le sujet est hors du commun: où dans le monde industrialisé, si ce n'est aux Etats Unis , pourrait-on voir un tel exemple, grandeur nature, de nationalisme exacerbé et de fierté militaire? Ne s'attendrait-on pas à trouver cela en U.R.S.S, en Corée du Nord où l'équivalent? J'ai eu la chance d'être autorisé à prendre cette photo et d'y composer une telle harmonie de couleurs où celles du magasin se fondent avec celles du drapeau. L'image bénéficie d'une prédominance du rouge et du bleu, avec un chariot qui passe au premier plan et anime les rayures du drapeau.

Six ans ont passé et l'Amérique a changé. Ici sur la photo "Error in the War on Terror," l'ambiance est toute différente. Bien sûr l'on est à New York, l'ambiance est toujours moins conservatrice à New York, mais celle-ci n'est plus aussi étrangère à celle du reste de la nation. Toujours un foisonnement de rayures, mais le polo de la serveuse dit "Why are we fighting?" (pourquoi nos battons nous?)

N'est-il pas époustouflant de constater la vitesse à laquelle la réalité s'est imposée à l'Amérique?

L'incapacité a adresser tels qu'ils sont, les problèmes qui remettent en cause une vision du monde aussi impérialiste que forte à servir l'auto-satisfaction, n'a certainement pas disparue pour toujours de la politique américaine. Mais ses protracteurs les plus véhéments ont été décimés, et les vainqueurs veulent aussi réaffirmer leurs droits sur le drapeau, qui disent-ils, a été depuis trop longtemps, kidnappé par les nationalistes.

C'est sûr qu'il s'agit d'un bien joli drapeau

EMMIGRANT BANK. NYC, December 2007

MENEMSHA. Martha's Vineyard. August 2008

STEEL PHANTOM. Butler County Fair, PA. July 2005

4TH OF JULY FUN. Durham, NC. 4th of July 2007.

4TH OF JULY PEPS. Durham, NC. 4th of July 2007.

VICTORY SCENE. Raleigh, NC, Primary night, May 6, 2008.

VICTORIOUS HOUSE. Durham, NC, March 2009.