Last night was the opening of the Mai 68 exhibition featuring some of my collection of posters. It is being held at Alliance Français, Brisbane, and continues until July 31.
The highlight of the night for me was being able to show this video made specially for the night by my friend Antoine Grimaud. Antoine was 17 in 1968 when he joined in with the student protests. In the film he shares his feelings and experiences from the time. It’s a fascinating first-hand account.
An intriguing part of his story is that Antoine’s father was Maurice Grimaud – Paris’ prefect of police in 1968. As time has passed Maurice Grimaud has been praised by many (amongst them Daniel Cohn-Bendit) for his handling of what was a very volatile situation in 1968. This is highlighted by the fact that his predecessor was Maurice Papon (Maurice Grimaud had taken over the Prefect’s role in 1967). Papon’s legacy of deaths at the hands of the police under his control (especially in the events of October 17 1961 and Charonne) was still an open wound in France in 1968.
Antoine went on to join the Lettriste group in 1972. One real treat for me in the video is that it is opened and closed with 2 of Antoine’s Letterist poems – so for many viewers this will probably be the first time you will have heard real Letterist poetry. The video is made in a Letterist cinéma discrépant style too – with images and script a-synchronous to each other.
For more information on Antoine & his art visit his website (which, as you might imagine, is in French).