Following on from his work on the place of Man – victim or persecutor – in international conflicts, Guillaume Chamahian lingers over the iconography of the Al Assad couple, lead- ers of Syria. Bachar and Asma are a modern couple: she buys Louboutin shoes online, he listens to pop music on You- Tube. Some of these pictures were taken by the most fa- mous war photographer alive today, James Nachtwey, for the American edition of Vogue magazine.

With Dictator 2.0, the artist updates the contemporary ar- chives that he twists and rein- terprets in order to highlight the contradictions of a brutal world in which we are passive actors, incapable of ignoring the atrocities that are not only made public, but instituted as marketing objects displayed on our screens as a result of the most abject fanatical en- terprises.

Guillaume Chamahian

Born in 1975. He lives and works in Marseille.

In the continuity of his current work on violence and conflict, and how they are treated by the press, the artist scrutinizes the mass media, questions the information frameworks, captures unexpected historical echoes and hijacks their contents. He wants to “bear witness, point the finger, provide evidence, manage the feed, and think of new formats for these images-spectacles that now automatically flood all our channels of communication and information. In a society that is increasingly settling into a single and spectacular form of thought, where homogeneity is spreading like the plague throughout the media, in politics, and through the proliferation of multinationals, as well as through Orwellian Newspeak, behaviours, entertainment… we must resist. And fight. Artists must embody this counter force.”

 

From the series “Dictateur 2.0”. 4 Puzzles mounted on dibon, 15 x 21 cm.
Courtesy: the artist and LHOSTE ART CONTEMPORAIN.