Controverses, une histoire juridique et éthique de la photographie
Daniel Girardin and Christian Pirker
Just to continue on the theme of what is licit and what is illicit, touched on at the beginning of this newsletter, here is a book that explains a little further. It accompanied the exhibition at the musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, and lists 75 photographs, most of them well known, which all had a not very smooth career. Photomontages, photos falsely spontaneous or photos interpreted abusively: each left its mark on its time. On 20 July 1969, why is the American flag flowing in the wind next to Buzz Aldrin when there is no wind on the Moon? Why were those cut-off heads, brandished by Spanish soldiers, claimed in turn to be Republican, Franco supporters or Moroccan? In a photo taken by Khaldei, why was one of the two watches worn by the infantryman who planted the Russian flag atop the Reischtag in 1945 taken off? Why was the world press fooled by the set up of the massacres at Timisoara in 1989? In passing we will note that the scandal that was once created when intruding in the intimacy of the powerful (Bismarck on his death bed), by the non-respect of the right to the image (Chaplin plagiarized) or by changing the sense of things for reasons of propaganda, is now increasingly focused on sexual matters: a child’s naked body seems to automatically take on a pedophile orientation.
• Controverses, une histoire juridique et éthique de la photographie by Daniel Girardin and Christian Pirker, Actes Sud, 2008, 320 p., 45 €, ISBN : 978-2-7427-7432-6
Review published in the newsletter #92 - from 29 May 2008 to 5 June 2008