Starting the first serious work day of the New Year off right: It seems that France’s Le Monde published a cover of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, that many think makes him look like Hitler.
The cover featured a black and white photograph of Macron, with an image of Yellow Vest protestors surging towards the Arc de Triomphe. There are bands of deep red behind Macron and the M is written in Gothic font. The headline reads: ‘From inauguration to Yellow Vests – The Champs-Élysées theatre of Macron’s power’.” “Le Monde creates controversy with ‘constructivist’ cover of Macron” at France 24
The trouble with that account is, cover artist Lincoln Agnew has done “Hitler” art before, for Harper’s Magazine (July 2017).
This francophone uproar has to do with the large, exurban protest group, the gilets jaunes (yellow vests), who find M. Macron a touch too “out of touch” and have taken to marching around, damaging monuments and such. Macron says they don’t represent French values.
Now, the interesting thing for our purposes is the inference to design as the best explanation:
In a tweet, the president of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand summed up the general sense of confusion over the intentions of the image:
“Looking forward to understanding what underlies the graphic and iconographic references of @lemonde_M If it cannot be a matter of chance, what is it then? In search of the lost meaning…” “Le Monde creates controversy with ‘constructivist’ cover of Macron” at France 24
Yes, lost meaning.
Mais non, say the mag’s editors. It’s just something the artist happened to pull out of “the graphics of Russian constructivism at the beginning of the 20th century, who used black and red. ”
It only looks like totalitarian art. Like all design, it is an illusion.
A genuine totalitarian doesn’t bother with attributing design, or not seriously. He simply decides who stands in the way of power, intentionally or otherwise, and acts. Everything other than power (“who whom?”) is an illusion. There aren’t even explanations, only narratives.
If there is no design in nature, then it is an illusion and Macron will have to settle for minimizing the influence of the people he doesn’t like, without claiming that there is some “meaning” or “design” behind their actions.
Follow UD News at Twitter!