Ségolène Royal channels Barbara Kruger?

My Parisian friend CSH emailed me this: “Ségolène Royal’s “official” campaign posters, released at the beginning of this week, which are plastered on all the official posting sites next to the bureaux de votes, are complete Barbara Kruger ripoffs: Grainy black-and-white photos of “Ségo” with artsy cropping (blocking part of her much-admired forehead, for instance) sandwiched between red bars, with white block lettering on it. So ten years ago in terms of aesthetics; as for her program….” I have to agree with CSH (well, re the art; I still need to study the platforms before I vote next weekend).

Depending on how you read this, it’s either 1) a clear case of plagiarism; 2) a sign of how pervasive the Barbara Kruger aesthetic has become; or 3) a coded signifier to the ConArt crowd and feminists, reminding them that had they better rally to the cause and elect France’s first madame la presidente, even if she’s been drifting centrist to boost her electability. Sort of like when George W. Bush uses innocuous-sounding but Evangelical-derived codephrases like “wonder-working power” as semaphores of his support toward the Christian Right.


2 thoughts on “Ségolène Royal channels Barbara Kruger?”

  1. Great find. When I first saw it in the newspapers I did a double take. Kruger is probably the most copied artist when it comes to propaganda. I do not think it is a clear case of plagiarism. And were it not France, I would not think it was an overt appeal to female voters. Then again this is France, where ideas and intellectuals still count. So maybe someone still thinks that you can appeal to voters through allusions to contemporary art.

    Which leads me to a parlor game suggestion: In thinking about the presidential campaign in this country, which artists would best suit the current candidates?

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