Monthly Archives: December 2014

On the photography and communism of Henri Cartier-Bresson

The subtitle of the Pompidou Centre’s retrospective of the 20th century’s best-known photographer could be: Almost Everything You Know About Henri Cartier-Bresson is Wrong. Or, at least, Long Overdue a Rethink.Its curator, Clement Cheroux, has risen to the unspoken challenge that any Cartier-Bresson exhibition now presents: how to shed new light on the life and work of an artist who so defined the medium that yet another celebration of his genius might seem superfluous.

Cheroux has wisely chosen to tackle his life chronologically, mapping out through around 500 images the stages of Cartier-Bresson’s creative development, while allowing us surprising glimpses of the private individual behind the legend. The show includes family albums, portraits of the artist as a young and old man, his early paintings, late drawings, and even a couple of striking, surrealist-influenced collages. Here, the two aspects of Cartier-Bresson’s life that have long defined him – his coining of the term “the decisive moment” to describe street photography and the co-founding of Magnum in 1947 – are not so much ignored as woven into the creative tapestry of a restless but intensely focused life.

Continue reading On the photography and communism of Henri Cartier-Bresson


New economic indicators debate (French)

“As for the indicators, they are tools of knowledge and management (gestion) of the realities that they indicate. But the tools of knowledge and management of wealth that was « managed in common » must themselves be… common. For if the management is indeed common, then its tools must not be imposed from the outside that is exterior to the managing collective. Clearly, this implies that there must be new indicators of wealth which should be elaborated under the responsability and with the co-acitivity of its «stakeholders» (that of experts, but not only them). (transl. A. M.)

(“Quant aux indicateurs, ce sont des outils de connaissance et de gestion des réalités qu’ils indiquent. Mais des outils de connaissance et de gestion de richesses « gérées en commun » ne peuvent être que… communs. Si la gestion est commune, ses outils ne peuvent pas être imposés de l’extérieur du collectif de gestion. En clair, cela implique que les nouveaux indicateurs de richesse doivent être élaborés et utilisés sous la coresponsabilité et avec la co-activité des « parties prenantes » (dont des experts, mais pas seulement eux).”)

(This text is from Jean Gadrey, but this one could also provide some background on the topic

Continue reading New economic indicators debate (French)

overview of neoliberalism literature

Neoliberalism: A Bibliographic Review
by William Davies

The term ‘neoliberalism’ has become increasingly familiar over recent years. The term was relatively unheard-of until the 1990s, but was then adopted principally by the critics of a perceived free market orthodoxy, which was spreading around the world under the auspices of the ‘Washington Consensus’. The ‘anti-globalisation movement’, which rose to prominence with the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organisation, further advanced the pejorative sense of neoliberalism as a form of market fundamentalism, imposed upon developing nations by the United States government and multilateral institutions. The assumption underlying this account of neoliberalism was typically that it arose with the elections of ‘new right’ political leaders, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in particular, in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. But there was relatively little scholarly work done at this time on the longer history of neoliberal thought preceding that political shift. Continue reading overview of neoliberalism literature