Saturday, March 12, 2005

Sartre's Smokes

In an odd bit of historical revisionism, The Daily Telegraph reports that a poster featuring the image of Jean-Paul Sartre smoking his ever present cigarette has been altered. The cigarette was airbrushed out of the picture.

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France has put together an exhibition to mark the one hundredth aniversary of Sartre's birth. In order to conform to avoid any nasty legal action for promoting smoking, the library decided to have the offending cigarette removed from the images of Sartre used on their promotional posters.
"Smoking," the Left-wing existentialist wrote, is "the symbolic equivalent of destructively appropriating the entire world.
I wonder what he would think of this? I wonder what the photographing artist, Lipnitzki, would think?

*I'm feeling sympathetic to Lipnitzki at present because I've just sent in some images to be made into promotional material for an upcoming show. The images will be altered to meet the requirements of the invite and I'm worried that they will be butchered. Or worse. I'm worried that they will be made better.


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