Résidents de la République / 2009
The work is based on photograph published in daily newspaper Le Temps (Genève) on which was shown manifestation of the workers without papers (sans papiers) in front of the Ministry of Work (Ministere du travail) in Paris. On the photo, protestants are with transparent on which is the drawing of one of the French national symbols, MARIANNE with notes Liberte, egalite, fraternite (freedom, equality, brotherhood). But, what scotched me on this photo was that in the middle of the group of protestants is standing the sign of interdiction of traffic in one way, and that this group of protestants unconsciously gathered around that sign of interdiction. Putting the sign of interdiction instead of three-colors cockade on a national symbol, Phrygian cap (bonnet Phrygian) which in France is also called the Cap of Freedom (bonnet de la Liberté) through the work „Résidents de la République“ it is represented actual national regard, which is far away from the official Liberte, egalite, fraternite and it can be perceived everyday through endangering basic rights on life, regard on the name and race in employing, until the expression racaille (ragtag) used by the actual president Nicolas Sarkozy towards the habitants of the suburbs of Paris, during the social riots in 2007. With suppression of BLUE color that represent justice and loyalty from cockade, and letting WHITE that represent hope and innocence on the RED background that represent courage, the sign of interdiction is becoming the visual picture of today’s French society in which hope and innocence, even the courage, are standing across the (un)justice that is performed everyday in the country that is glorified as the country of the human rights. By giving to the cockade its new visual context in the sense of the interdiction, its purpose is going back to the primary purpose, where the expression “cockade” in the beginning was used by the nationalists and republicans (Maurice Barrès) at the end of XIX century, whose attitude towards foreigners it can be literally copy-paste today, on the beginning of the XXI century.
The work was shown first time on April 7th 2011 in the frame of “Module of Memory 2011” in Galerija Duplex in Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina).