Graffiti pioneers

Subway art revisited

"Midg" with yellow school bus, 1982Image copyrightMartha Cooper
In the late 1970s and early '80s, photographers Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant were both documenting the work of graffiti artists on the subway system of New York.
Initially working independently, they finally met, combined their work and published a book called Subway Art in 1984, a tome that was to define the era, and arguably ensure the genre lived on to be reborn as part of the global art movement decades later.
By the end of the 80s, the graffiti culture was being forced to adapt, as by then, New York's Transit Authority had brought in procedures that made it tougher to gain access to the train yards. New models with coatings that were resistant to paint, and faster cleaning of any that were covered in graffiti also meant the artists' work was short-lived and the thrill of seeing the work trundling around the city was lost.
Blade Dolores, 1979Image copyrightHenry Chalfant
In the years since, some of the artists have fared well in the US and Europe, others have spent time in prison, one has become a policeman and some have died.
The art itself is now part of the mainstream, no longer reserved for city walls but a regular part of a designer's armoury.
Duro, Doze, Mare 139, Shy 147, Daze, Lady Pink, and Crash jumping off the East River Park amphitheatre, Manhattan, 1981Image copyrightMartha Cooper
Image captionThe artists: Duro, Doze, Mare 139, Shy 147, Daze, Lady Pink, and Crash jumping off the East River Park amphitheatre, Manhattan, 1981
For Cooper, the graffiti work is an important part of her time in New York, producing the images she is most proud of, rather than those shot on assignment for newspapers or magazines.
At times, she would spend hours waiting and watching, for that moment when good light combined with a powerful piece of art passing through an interesting part of the city.
Chalfant approached the graffiti from a different angle, concentrating on the work itself, often shooting a series of overlapping images using the motor drive on his camera. He would then splice the pictures together in his studio. He said at the time: "I was more interested in capturing the beautiful, ephemeral work of art than in taking a beautiful picture as a photographer."
Here is a selection of the photographs by Cooper and Chalfant.
Bearded character with kids, by unidentified artist, 1981Image copyrightMartha Cooper
Dez on lookout with a baseball bat in the 3 Yard, Manhattan, 1982Image copyrightMartha Cooper
Min, Duro and Shy 147, New Lots Yards, the Bronx, 1981Image copyrightMartha Cooper
Skeme Daze, 1981Image copyrightHenry Chalfant
Trap Dez Daze, 1983Image copyrightHenry Chalfant
Image copyrightMartha Cooper
Subway Art by Martha Cooper & Henry Chalfant is published by Thames & Hudson.


Like: http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-34580004?SThisFB


UK Chilcot report on Iraq war to be published in the summer 2016


The Guardian:

Chilcot report on Iraq war to be published next June or July

Sir John Chilcot writes to PM to tell him that his report will be published next summer – seven years after inquiry was set up by Gordon Brown.

British troops moving into the technical college of Basra in 2003.

British troops moving into the technical college of Basra in 2003. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Sir John Chilcot has announced that he is to publish his report into the Iraq war next June or July following intense pressure from David Cameron to speed up his timetable.
In a letter to the prime minister, the former Northern Ireland office permanent secretary said he would finally complete his work seven years after the inquiry was set up by Gordon Brown. 
The letter states that the inquiry expects to be able to complete the text of its report in the week of 18 April 2016.

The prime minister, who received Chilcot’s letter as he travelled to the Northern Future Forum in the Icelandic capital on Wednesday, is expected to set out his response later on Thursday.

The publication has been held up by two factors. Chilcot was involved in a lengthy wrangle with two successive cabinet secretaries – Gus O’Donnell and Sir Jeremy Heywood – over the publication of correspondence between Blair and George W Bush. 

These focused on whether Blair provided undertakings to Bush in the run-up to the invasion in 2003 – around the time of his visit to Bush in Crawford, Texas in April 2002 – that Britain would join US forces.

Blair has always said that he gave no definitive commitment to the US and actually succeeded in putting pressure on the White House to seek UN authority in the autumn and winter of 2002.

Heywood, who feared that publication of the correspondence might harm communications with future presidents, eventually agreed to some limited publication. This then paved the way for the Maxwellisation process in which the Chilcot team sent sections of the report to witnesses who were to be criticised.

This is a lengthy process because witnesses have the right to respond. The news that Chilcot will finally publish his work comes shortly after Tony Blair issued a partial apology for elements of the Iraq war.
Blair’s remarks gave an insight into Chilcot’s likely findings because the former prime minister, in common with other witnesses, has been sent the sections of the report that criticise his conduct.

The former prime minister apologised for the use of misleading intelligence which prompted him to justify the invasion on the grounds that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. He also said that inadequate preparations were made for the aftermath of the war.

Blair told Fareed Zakaria on CNN: “I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong. I also apologise for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime.”

But Blair made clear that he still felt he made the right decision in backing the US invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein. He said: “I find it hard to apologise for removing Saddam.”



Chilcot report likely to cast net of criticism far and wide
Tony Blair’s half-hearted apology for the way he dragged Britain into war in Iraq is scarcely surprising, but many others will also be in the firing line

It is scarcely surprising that Tony Blair gave a half-hearted apology for the way he dragged Britain into a disastrous invasion of Iraq. What is more surprising is that he had not done it much sooner – and that he did it to an American broadcaster.

Blair knows full well that he will be heavily criticised by the Chilcot inquiry for the way he joined George Bush’s invasion without properly informing his cabinet, let alone parliament and the public, and for rejecting advice from his government’s law officers.

There are some who held very high office at the time who have said Blair could be charged under international law, in particular over the obligations placed on occupying powers under the Geneva conventions to protect civilians, and “ensure public order and safety”.

Blair apologised “for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong”. He knows full well MI6 is an easy target.

He knows many others will be heavily criticised when the Chilcot report is published, almost certainly next year. Near the top of the list, along with Blair himself, are likely to be the former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove, and the head of the joint intelligence committee, Sir John Scarlett. But Chilcot is expected to cast his net far and wide.

Judging from the evidence he heard, many others will be in the firing line. They include: Jack Straw, the then foreign secretary who was responsible for MI6 and rejected the clear advice from his top law officers that the invasion was illegal; Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary who went along with Downing Street’s instruction that military commanders must not be seen to prepare for war to avoid upsetting the UN; military commanders for not objecting as much as they should have done and Clare Short, the international development secretary, for not helping with the reconstruction because she was opposed to the invasion, believing it to be unlawful. (Short says the problem was Blair instructed the military, bypassing her department, to deal with Iraq’s reconstruction.)

Chilcot, whose inquiry was set up by prime minister Gordon Brown in 2009, has been lambasted for the delay in publishing his report. He has been criticised for agreeing that Whitehall – specifically its chief gatekeeper, the cabinet secretary – would have the final say over what documents given to his inquiry can and cannot be published.

Fierce and protracted arguments, notably over what could be revealed about what Blair promised Bush, were responsible for the initial delays. Chilcot promises that more will be published about the contents of private discussions between a British prime minister and an American president than ever before.

Further delay was the result of the so-called “Maxwellisation” process whereby those Chilcot intended to criticise would have the opportunity to respond to drafts of the relevant passages.

Chilcot has made it clear that Whitehall has conducted a guerrilla campaign, specifically by giving to those the inquiry wanted to criticise documents that would help them in their defence. Those documents had not been given to the 

Chilcot panel. So Chilcot deserves some sympathy.
Blair may hope those delays, and his admission that some “mistakes” were made, will help to take the sting out of a report that should, given all the evidence it heard, be damning.


Le français...

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Le deuxième Forum Économique de la Francophonie se tiendra à Paris le 27 octobre 2015 sous l'égide de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie et du Ministère français des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international, en présence de Son Excellence Madame Michaëlle Jean, Secrétaire générale de la Francophonie, et des présidents François Hollande et Macky Sall.

Cette deuxième édition permettra de poursuivre la réflexion initiée lors du Forum inaugural de Dakar, avec pour ambition d’accélérer la concrétisation d’une Francophonie économique, dont le potentiel est aujourd’hui encore largement sous-exploité.

Décideurs politiques et économiques venant des cinq continents et des 80 États et gouvernements membres de la Francophonie se réuniront ainsi à Paris pour aborder des thèmes concrets : l’entrepreneuriat, les enjeux et opportunités des mégapoles et des secteurs économiques à fort potentiel, les partenariats public-privé, l'éducation, les nouvelles technologies, l'environnement, le rôle des médias, la culture et la science.

Le Forum privilégiera la voix des jeunes ainsi que les échanges directs, francs et constructifs, axés sur l’avenir et l’action. L’ensemble des participants sera encouragé à contribuer aux débats.






'Le Jeune Karl Marx' de Raoul Peck : Premières photos de tournage

A suivre sur le compte Twitter du film : @lejeunekarlmarx

Sur le tournage du Jeune Karl Marx: Photo: Kris de Witte




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Upcoming Projects

In Production

Feature Film

The Young Karl Marx by Raoul Peck. Script by Pascal Bonitzer and Raoul Peck. Velvet Film, Agat Films (France), RohFilm (Germany), Artémis Productions (Belgium)

Raoul Peck has become one of the most intriguing figures in the International film community. Born in Haiti, raised in Zaire (Congo) and France, he additionally is well-suited for the international following he has earned. No doubt his early travels throughout the world have informed his particular aesthetic as a filmmaker. Educated in Haiti, Zaire (Congo), France, and Germany, Peck initially studied engineering and economics at Berlin University. He worked as a journalist and photographer from 1980 to 1985.
In 1988 he received his film degree from the Berlin Academy of Film and Television. Since graduation, Peck has developed short experimental works, socio-political documentaries, and features based on fact as well as fiction. His feature "L'homme sur les quais" (1993) ("The Man by the Shore") was the first Haitian film to be released in theaters in the United States; this feature was also selected for competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. 
A true internationalist, Peck divides his time between Europe and the United States and for a brief time in the 1990s he served as Haiti's Minister of Culture. For his international vision, historical and political insights, along with his potent artistic vision, he has been richly rewarded. In 1994 he was awarded the Nestor Almendros Prize by the Human Rights Watch in New York; and in 2001 he received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award. Peck promises to be one of the major trendsetters in filmmaking and indeed socio-political commentary well into the twenty-first century.
In January 2010, he was appointed Chairman of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son (Le Femis), the prestigious French national film school.


Homage to Jupiter

I was asked by the magazine Africa Report to comment on Congolese musician's work, Jupiter and his band Okwess International. He is one of my favourite African musician! How could I say no?

Here is my short letter to the magazine's reader about Jupiter: 


Quelques images de la FIAC 2015

Grand Palais
23 octobre 2015

De l'art et du beau :



Alberto Burri :


Fabienne Verdier : 


Et aussi :



De retour de Gibellina : Reportage sur AudioGhost68, de Giancarlo Neri et Robert Del Naja

Mon article pour Toute la Culture :

Gibellina, Sicile
17 oct. 2015


AudioGhost68, ou redonner vie au village œuvre d’art d’Alberto Burri

A l’occasion du centenaire de la naissance du grand artiste italien Alberto Burri, le sculpteur napolitain Giancarlo Neri a organisé une performance hors du commun à Gibellina Vecchia, en Sicile, au cœur de l’un des plus grandes œuvres de Land Art de Burri, Il Grande Cretto. L’œuvre a été construite sur les décombres de la ville détruite par un tremblement de terre en 1968. Samedi 17 octobre, a eu lieu AUDIOGHOST68, une œuvre de son et lumière créée par une formidable équipe anglo-italienne.


Note de la rédaction : 

Cachée au milieu de champs d’oliviers et de vignobles, dédale de nuances de vert et de blanc, la petite ville de Gibellina Nuova dénote en Sicile. Située au centre de la province de Trapani, loin des côtes et plages et donc des touristes, elle a des allures de ville fantôme, dépeuplée par le manque d’activité. Avec son architecture ultra-contemporaine, ses statues et œuvres d’art par dizaines, elle a moins d’habitants que de projets urbanistiques, dont certains restent malheureusement inachevés. A quelques centaines de mètres se trouve notamment la Fondazione Orestiadi, une merveille d’architecture rassemblant des œuvres d’artistes contemporains et une exposition consacrée à la place de l’islam dans la Sicilia Africana, la côte sud de la Sicile, imprégnée depuis des siècles par les échanges entre le sud de l’Europe et le nord de l’Afrique.

Il y a une raison à ce mélange unique. L’histoire de la petite ville sicilienne de Gibellina est à la fois tragique, inspirante et emplie de symboles. Presqu’entièrement détruite par le tremblement de terre qui frappe l’ouest de la Sicile en janvier 1968, une année qui secoua le reste de l’Europe par ses révolutions, la ville a été progressivement reconstruite quelques kilomètres plus loin, grâce à l’investissement et aux efforts de son maire, Ludovico Corrao, et l’intervention de nombreux architectes et artistes de toute l’Italie. Le site de l’ancienne ville, Gibellina Vecchia, a finalement été recouvert dans les années 1980 par une œuvre d’art monumentale, Il Grande Cretto d’Alberto Burri, un des plus impressionnants exemples de « land art » de l’artiste italien né en 1915, près de Pérouse, en Ombrie.

Célébrer le centenaire d’Alberto Burri et son œuvre Il Grande Cretto

En cet automne 2015, alors que le monde de l’art commémore le centenaire de la naissance d’Alberto Burri, notamment à travers une rétrospective au Guggenheim Museum de New York, Il Grande Cretto a finalement été complété à Gibellina Vecchia. Immense dalle de ciment d’un mètre cinquante de haut, sur des dizaines de mètres carrés, creusée d’allées correspondant aux anciennes rues de la ville, le Cretto de Burri est à la fois le sarcophage et le l’âme des anciens habitants de la ville. Il est encore entouré par les débris des maisons qui ont résisté au séisme.

C’est pour toutes ces raisons que s’est tenu samedi 17 octobre la première édition du Cretto Earth Festival, au cœur de l’œuvre de Burri, véritable ville symbolique. Pour l’occasion, les organisateurs du festival on réuni plusieurs artistes italiens et internationaux.

Un son et lumière fantôme

Inspiré par toutes ces occasions de célébration, le directeur des arts de la commune de Gibellina, Giuseppe Zummo dit ‘Peppe’, a eu une idée lumineuse : redonner vie au Cretto grâce à une œuvre-performance impliquant art, installations visuelles, et musique, ainsi que le public. Pour cela, il contacte deux artistes italiens, tous deux napolitains : le sculpteur Giancarlo Neri, connu pour ses œuvres également monumentales, et Massimo Passante, DJ et performeur.

La principale création au cœur de la soirée est une performance participative, œuvre de lumières, sons et interprétée par mille acteurs : le public lui-même. « L’art se fait par milliers » est le sous-titre de AUDIOGHOST68, mis en scène par Giancarlo Neri avec le musicien Robert Del Naja.

Né en 1955, Giancarlo Neri a vécu près de vingt à New York, où il a commencé une carrière de footballeur professionnel avant d’entrer en école d’art. Il est connu pour ses sculptures géantes, dont The Writer (Lo Scrittore) présenté à Rome et à Londres en 2005, ainsi que ses magnifiques installations de lumière dont l’une a déjà été accueillie dans le Cretto di Burri. Il envisage cette fois de mettre en place une performance incluant le public, où les spectateurs porteront eux-mêmes les lumières du spectacle à travers les allées de la sculpture recouvrant l’ancienne ville de Gibellina. Massimo ‘Max’ Passante a quant à lui vécu des années à Brighton, dans le sud de l’Angleterre. Tous deux ont comme ami commun Robert Del Naja, musicien et artiste de Bristol, membre fondateur et âme du groupe Massive Attack. Giancarlo et Max ont alors contacté Robert, dont Peppe est un grand admirateur, pour réaliser la création sonore de leur projet pour Gibellina et l’idée d’AUDIOGHOST68 est née au cours de l’été 2015.

Consulté à partir de la première idée de Giancarlo mêlant lumière et public participatif, Robert Del Naja suggère de créer un « programme radio fantôme », une bande-son réunissant les musiques et émissions de l’année 1968, où tout s’est arrêté à Gibellina. « La colonna sonora », bande originale de l’œuvre vivante, est diffusée sur plus de 250 postes de radio, installés dans toutes les allées du Cretto, parcouru par le soir de la performance par près de 2000 personnes munies d’une lampe torche sur le front. Elles illuminent ainsi de l’intérieur l’œuvre qui reprend vie à travers ses souvenirs sonores.

De Ennio Morricone au ‘Revolution’ des Beatles, en passant par des opéras italiens et des extraits de films et de journaux américains et siciliens, l’année 68 se déroule pour une heure depuis ces transistors. La soirée s’est ensuite poursuivie par un DJ set très britannique de Max Passante et une performance époustouflante du duo italien Percussion Voyager, qui joint un orchestre de percussion à sa playlist, déployant des trésors d’énergie.

« Nous voulions rendre hommage à cette grande œuvre, au grand artiste qui l’a créée, avec un travail collectif qui soulignerait encore sa grandeur avec un milliers d’entre nous », ont expliqué les artistes.

Les centaines d’habitants de la nouvelle ville se promenant ainsi dans les allées du Cretto aux sons si émouvants des radios ont ainsi pu communier avec ce passé pour mieux le transcender. Chef d’œuvre absolu.


Lien vers le site Toute la Culture : http://toutelaculture.com/non-classe/audioghost68-ou-redonner-vie-au-village-oeuvre-dart-dalberto-burri/

Lien vers le Musée Guggenheim : http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view/alberto-burri-the-trauma-of-painting 


Autres photos :