1 / 3       «Y'a d'la joie!» Cabu was a friend of the singer Charles Trenet and loved his songs, including the joyful "Y'a d'la joie!". I asked him to repeat the pose from the 1974 photo for this one in 2014. By 2015 all joy was gone. © Arnaud Baumann/Signatures. Un projet de Signatures, maison des photographes.
2 / 3       A magical experience: photographing Reiser working on a cartoon, 1978. © Xavier Lambours/Signatures. Un projet de Signatures, maison des photographes.
3 / 3       During the visit to the exhibition From Hara-Kiri to Charlie by Arnaud Baumann and Xavier Lambours/Un projet de Signatures, maison de photographes. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.

From Hara-Kiri to Charlie

This exhibition pays an homage to the editorial staff, to the people dedicating their life to satire and provocation and that paid a very high price for this choice. On the 7th of January, a group of terrorists burst into Charlie Hebdo's offices. The victims are the two founders of the historical satirical magazine, Wolinski and Cabu, and three cartoonists, Charb, Honoré and Tignous. The rest is now history. It is a black page for the freedom of the press, that has deeply shaken the Ville Lumière and the entire Europe and that has been explored with a lateral look by Arnaud Baumann's and Xavier Lambours's project – presented by Signatures and exhibited at Caserne Gallieni.
The work is a very accurate choice of archive pictures; the journey begins with the editorial life of the satirical magazine Hara-Kiri, focusing on the little creative and intellectual world that, in the 70s, was gravitating around it, and its most famous characters, such as Professeur Charon and François Cavanna, the founders of the first version of Charlie Hebdo. Picture after picture, we are guided through the basic happenings that in 1992 led to the closure of Hara-Kiri and the creation of the satirical magazine now sadly famous around the world. On the foreground the most important episodes and the different directors, cartoonists, editors and creatives that took part in this lively editorial activity. On the background there are thirty years of Parisian history, the evolution of trends and editorial practices. A real French history that according to Jean François Leroy – VISA's patron – would not have found space in an international festival of photojournalism if nothing had happened on that terrible 7th of January 2015. From that day everybody knows what is Charlie Hebdo. The stinging newspaper, half known outside France and often fiercely criticized, suddenly has become a symbol. A symbol of the fight for freedom of the press.
In this context, and in the wake of the scream «We are all Charlie!», the work presented by Arnaud Baumann e Xavier Lambours talks to a wider audience. This international echo certainly helped them to participate to the Festival but it can be barely perceived in their work. The day is in fact only suggested, and the audience has to put together its pieces. Nothing talks about the dramatic happenings in January and about the consequent reactions. Nothing except few soft references in the textual captions and one image on a black background – hanged on an aluminum panel in the middle of the room – with five faces that are portrayed in many other pictures of the exhibition. Five close ups with a blunt caption underneath: «Dessinateurs assassinés». [ S. B. ]

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FROM HARA-KIRI TO CHARLIE
by Arnaud Baumann and Xavier Lambours
Caserne Gallieni | until September, 13rd 2015
admission fee: free

published on 2015-09-10 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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