- Praise of the artificial brambles
Excerpt of the preparatory speech of their 150th anniversary
During a time of reasonless, celebration of national genius, inventors and tributes at every turn, it seems important to us to remedy an injustice.. It is really necessary to restore a truth buried in a disdainful propaganda regarding our glorious nation. We have to remind others that contrary to a persisting myth, the first inventor of this war device is French and not American...
Indeed, thanks to the perspicacity of Louis Jannin, France, land of liberty, was, in 1865, the first country to hold a patent on double barbed wire - a significant improvement on the single barbed wire, which came about in 1860 from the fertile imagination of Leonce Eugene Grassin-Baledans, another Frenchman.
Of course, let us give back to Caesar, what belongs to Caesar, this noble invention that took off in the great American West, country of the New Frontier and of individual freedom. Better than dithyrambic speeches, these two American figures, objective information like all figures, will reveal the imperious necessity of this invention : on the American market, the production of artificial brambles rose from 250 tons in 1875 to 170,000 tons in 1900.
This industrious 19th century product must be celebrated in its rightful place in this period of military commemorations, that of a weapon of war. The product of the genius of two countries that defined themselves as the two great defenders of individual freedom and respect for others. Indeed, it is essential to remember that he was the second link, without any precedence, with the trench, without any precedence, so deep are their links, of trench warfare, to become then or simultaneously, the faithful right-hand man of many coercion and confinement. Announcer of a long career far from being finished, his first job referenced as a concentration camp fence dates back to 1899, during the Boer War.
On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the second patent filed in order to objectively define barbed wire, this industrial product, and to protect the thought of the glorious inventor who came to contribute his stone to the edifice of French genius, it seemed essential to us, in order to repair this injustice, to produce these images to the glory of the roll of artificial brambles.
However, in our desire to re-establish the truth we see ourselves in the need to affirm that, contrary to another legend just as persistent as the first, the artificial bramble was never invented to avoid intrusions but, on the contrary, to reduce the temptations to escape from livestock in all its forms.
Hervé Bernard 2014-2015
The images presented are only an extract of the whole project.
Les ronces d’Hervé Bernard
Text by Jean-Louis POITEVIN
Because the barbed wire is a French invention which celebrates its 150 years...
it was also exhibited at
– Image and ArtCenter of Chinese Culture University, Taïpei, Taiwan, 2-15 to 2-28 — 2016
– La Villa des Arts, November 2016, Paris
– Nuits Photographiques 2016 (december), Bibliothèque Royale de Rabat, Marocco
– And it was exhibited at Jours de Lumière Festival september 2017, Saint Saturnin Puy de Dôme, France
- Vue on the work as it was exhibited at La Villa des Arts, November 2016, Paris