This post is also available in: French

I arrived to Saigon on January 14, 1968, the war was there, powerful, exciting, dangerous, disgusting, unfair, insistent, it spoke with a loud, provocative voice: ”I am the mother of everything, the great force that drives and transforms societies; I am their most powerful means of expression. Court of History, I weigh, judge and model the world; I create gods and kings, masters and slaves. I fascinate Men, and Peace itself lives in my fascination. I can train to death the brother against the brother; I can pluck, by the thousands or the millions, the child from the father and the husband from the wife, while exalting their sacrifice. Having millions of lives through the unleashing of violence, I am without doubt the least divine cause of death. I play the mechanism of things as the passions of men. I make everything serve my purposes: overabundance as scarcity, the spirit of domination as shyness or rebellion of weakness, courage as fear, heroism as cowardice, hope as despair, generosity as selfishness, calculation as error, cynicism as angelism, law as strength. I make those who want to enslave as to those who want to remain free take the arms. I make arrow of all woods, calculations as impulses, rational as irrational. Since Man exists, and throughout the centuries I bursted on the planet Earth, incessantly reborn, the blaze of my fires and the crash of my battles. There is no year, there is no place where I have not appeared. But can anyone know me? Because, like the god Proteus, I constantly change and renew my face and my voice. I used to be the great illusion: nations took me for a means, but it was me who finally imposed on them my unexpected ends, undoing regimes, states and societies; the armies were preparing me and, in their confrontations, thought they were winning me, but it was me who finally defeated the armies, because no one came out unscathed from the crucible of my battles. I am an end disguised as a means. With my successes as well as with my experience of men and events, I challenge Man to do without me, to thwart me.

50 years later, the war is still there. I continue photographing it in Africa, in the Middle-East, up to the borders of Europe in Ukraine, where it managed to recreate the decor of the trenches of 14-18. –

Patrick Chauvel

photographs by Patrick CHAUVEL

From 31/08/2019 to 15/09/2019
VISA POUR L'IMAGE - Couvent des Minimes
24, rue Rabelais

Opening hours : Every day from 10h to 20h
Phone : 01 42 33 93 18