ISSN: 20403682
First published in 2010
2 issues per volume
Volume 3 Issue 1
Cover Date: December 2012
Moulène, Rancière and 24 Objets de Grève: Productive ambivalence or reifying opacity?
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Authors:  Paolo Magagnoli 
DOI: 10.1386/pop.3.1.155_1


First exhibited in 1999, Jean-Luc Moulène’s 24 Objets de Grève is a photographic archive printed in a range of different formats, portraying a variety of products made by French workers on strike between the 1970s and the 1990s. These comprise of scarves, T-shirts, dolls, geographical maps, cigarettes, facsimile banknotes, perfume bottles and other items. The objects were aimed at financially supporting the strikers and attracting the solidarity of the general public. Often destroyed after their use, they were not created with the intention of being collected and exhibited as works of art. 24 Objets de Grève lends itself to multiple and seemingly contradictory readings: it can be read as a Rancerian celebration of the creativity of the working class or as its undue appropriation; as a commemoration of the history of the workers movement or as an act of forgetting and reification. This article explores the ambivalences, hiatuses and limitations of Moulène’s project in relation to its representational strategies and the notion of emancipatory aesthetic elaborated by Jacques Rancière.
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