HIGHLIGHTS

EXHIBITION: The History of France told by advertising

All day | 1st – 31st of March| Alliance française atrium

histoire-de-france-marcellin-auzolle1Advertising does not just recycle the story to ensure the promotion of consumer products; its own discourse is largely dependent on the vagaries of historical events.

The great figures of the history of France are often requested during the Belle Epoque, a kind of ideal Pantheon, when it comes to affirming the legitimacy of the Republic and to encourage patriotism. Building on the current political affairs, advertising posters do not hesitate to ridicule the great figures of this world, thus earning the goodwill of consumers. Jostled by the economic crisis and international tension, this good-vision of the history of France will disappear in the 1920’s, and as peace is restored in 1950 will not prompt to return to the past but to enjoy the pleasures the consumer society.

What is happening with these representations today? With the return to power of nationalism at European level as a result of the crisis and the increasing importance of memory, it is only tentatively, from the 1990’s, that national heroes reappear in advertising often through humour and diversion.

150 promotional materials (posters, advertisements in the press, beverage or cheese labels…) selected from the rich collection of the Forney library, trace the history of France through a funny gallery of the French hero.

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