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Musée national

Marc Lathuillière

It is not often one sees a foreword by Houellebecq. Here, he attacks a motionless France where the French limit themselves “to be French”. In a homogenized world, the only way of maintaining traditions is to stage the people in a decor that is as easy to read as a cliché. Artist Marc Lathuillière uses both objectivity and mockery to prove this. To do so he has cut the faces of his models (or rather covered them with a mask) and encircled them with obvious symbols: a sheep for a livestock producer, jars for the jam maker, the marble room in an official building for an intern of the ENA (the French national school of administration). This leads to the creation of a cemetery of losers in a nation that is running to its ruin. Is this loss of references, this uniformity, this desperate search for fake roots, unique to France? From the American redneck in a checkered lumber jack shirt to the Masaï herdsman in a red blanket, including the Spanish female singer with her castanets, our huge show society is a relentless producer of icons.

Musée national, by Marc Lathuillière, La Martinière, 2014, 216 p., €49.

Musée national - Marc Lathuillière

Review published in the newsletter #364 - from 6 November 2014 to 12 November 2014

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