Saturday, January 19, 2008

Image Management


Speaking of image management, have a look at this one (it's copyrighted, so I can't reproduce it here). Then compare it with Charles Le Brun's Alexander and Porus here (reproduced in miniature at left). To be sure, Sarkozy isn't mounted, but notice the expansive gesture with the hand, similar to Alexander's. Notice the hapless spear carrier attending on the ruler (agriculture and fishing minister Michel Barnier in the modern setting). Notice the anxious crowd gathered around the wounded prince, hanging on the emperor's every word. The only thing present in the painting but missing from the photo is the casualty: the wounded King Porus. In the modern setting, that would be the fishing industry, which might have been represented symbolically by a squirming fish at Sarko's feet, but that would have spoiled the effect, otherwise entirely classical, of the leader, erect and calm in the center of catastrophe. As it happens, though, the defeat of Porus was a Pyrrhic victory for Alexander, because it cost him so much that his troops mutinied. Porus, however, became a loyal imperial satrap after being spared by the Great. When Alexander asked Porus how he wished to be treated, Porus replied, "Like a king!" By the same token, Sarko has told the fishermen that he will free them from the yoke of Europe and restore them to power in their own satrapy. Are they pleased enough to back him in further conquests, as Porus did Alexander? Or will Sarko's concessions to the disgruntled weaken his position as he attempts to press further east? Time will tell.

5 comments:

KatThePRBunny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KatThePRBunny said...

Hello!
I found your blog very interesting, since I am writing my thesis on how image management, PR and advertising has made politics itself evolve.
Since you have been analysing french politics since 1968, I would like to ask if there are any books I might read to help me. I am not concentrating solely on France or any specific country (I am Spanish) but want to take an overview of both US and European countries.
Thank u! And I will def. keep reading your blog... =)
Kate

Unknown said...

Kate,
If you read French, I would recommend starting with works of Régis Debray, Pierre Bourdieu, and Daniel Dayan on the power of the media.

KatThePRBunny said...

Thank you! I understand some french so I will see where I can procure these books, =)

Thanx again!

Kate

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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