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Under our flag

The commemorative monuments in a public area are no longer visible by their intended users and the commemorative ceremonies have become some kind of mechanical ritual, from another era.

The process of replacing the French flag with a transparent one adds further support to the very notion of transparency of the monument…of its gradual disappearance in the landscape and the collective conscience.
The flag, strong symbol of the nation, thus becomes a symbol of silence, of transparency between nations as if all the colours had faded out by dint of conflicts, to give way to a new image, that you have to create-imagine-together.

This work is not unpatriotic. It is in conflict with the patriotic status of War Memorials that, no matter what it may seem to us, reminds us the hatred between two nations. This picture guides the commemoration by the lack of signs. Isn’t the primary role of commemorative monuments to remind us of an absence?

Here, absence is doubly expressed: strictly by the lack of colour and more conceptually by the past action, of which the picture is the unique trace today. The idea of commemoration through absence is dear to Jochen Gertz as you can find in Le Monument invisible he realised in Sarrebrück. Subtly handling the absence is an art that Georges Perec in La disparition has also mastered.

Are War Memorials necessary? Have they even ever been? This is not only a generational question. It is our duty to remember, but the current form of the commemorations goes against this memory that must be sustained…Let’s face it: War Memorials leave us stony faced.

See the picture