Abuses of Power

And the fragility of Democracy

It takes fifteen long strides for this interpretation of the history of power to unfold before one’s eyes.
A unique work of a dimension never previously realised in photography, in the tradition of the frescoes of the history of art.

 Abuses of Power

The Exhibition “Between liberal Oligarchy, Democrature and participative Democracy, everyone is trying to work out who they are but not quite managing...”

In tandem with the author Caroline Gaudriault, the artist Gérard Rancinan, one of the great names of French photography, brings to bear a symbolic gaze on today’ society, which they like to reinterpret based on current events.

Known for his monumental photographic works, which have been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Milan Triennale, the Shanghai Himalayas Museum of Contemporary Art, the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and currently at the Bordeaux Submarine Base, Gérard Rancinan has just completed a work of exceptional dimensions and strong topicality.

At a time when the need to rethink Democracy is felt acutely, when current events nationally or overseas are raising questions about the stakes of power, the work of the two authors, each with their own means of expression, tries to grapple with societal events so as to extract a more objective and distanced vision in which man confronts his actions and their underside.
In a dialogue between photography and writing, both authors expose, impertinently, the abuses of an era, its contradictions and excesses.

 Abuses of Power


“Abuses of Power”
Photographic fresco, 1.80 m x 15 m Diasec-mounted silver print. Gérard Rancinan, 2016

It takes fifteen long strides for this interpretation of the history of power to unfold before one’s eyes. The convulsions of the democratic struggle play out on this work in one extended reading. The hierarchical order of power is falsely respected. The governor of this symbolic Democracy is none other than a Ubuesque king, a risible figure enthroned amidst his pernicious courtiers. Abandoned by family in decline, he is under threat from the schemers around him, taken no less seriously. Salvation is not to be found on the side of the media whose character-symbols are now one-eyed and have become trussed up paper men with their heads thrown back. Justice itself has been transformed into a funnel. Cultural power sinks under the dust of time. Religion also wants its share of the chessboard. Those who reap the benefits of the game are the anonymous black-suited figures, driven by ruthless ambitious and setting the rules with their chequebooks.

Exactly what Democracy is being depicted here, in this human folly that gets caught up in its own sarcasm? Between liberal Oligarchy, Democrature and participative Democracy, everyone is trying to work out who they are but not quite managing...



Part 1 - 2016 - Abuses of Power

Part 2 - 2016 - Abuses of Power

Part 3 - 2016 - Abuses of Power

Part 4 - 2016 - Abuses of Power

Part 5 - 2016 - Abuses of Power

The authors

Gérard Rancinan

Frenchman Gérard Rancinan is an internationally recognized artist and photographer. His photographic works are included in great contemporary art collections and displayed in prestigious museums the world over. A wakeful witness of the metamorphoses undergone by humanity, Rancinan observes the world and delivers an uncompromising critique of the humours of the “Modern”.
Through his protean photography, in which form and content are always linked, Rancinan seeks to translate the questions attached to the deviances and contradictions of society. He never gives absolution, and, in spite of the occasional cruelty of his gaze, he never fails to show everything.
“Free thinker” is assuredly the only title to which he lays claim and to which he dedicates his life and work.
He is known not only for the relevance of his oeuvre, but also for the monumental size of his photographic works.
Rancinan is an Officier des Arts et Lettres and has won, among other things, six World Press awards.

His work has been featured in exhibitions at, among other places, the National Portrait Gallery in London; the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco; the Shanghai Himalayas Museum; the Louvre Lens, France; the Fondation Pinault de Dinard, France; the Oscar Niemayer Museum, Curitiba, Brazil; the Muséé des Arts et Métiers, Paris; the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava; and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.


Caroline Gaudriault

Author, designer of the calligraphic installation

Born in Paris, Caroline Gaudriault is the author of around a dozen books translated into English, and even Chinese. Long an independent journalist, she has worked with a series of international magazines. Her reportages have taken her around the world, where she has been able to observe human beings confronted by their modernity and to analyze its consequences.

She has conducted wide-ranging interviews with the leading thinkers of the day, interviews that have helped her develop her thought and which inform her detailed analyses of our humanity. Thus, the major figures of modern thought are happy to participate in her personal quest. The American political scientist and philosopher Francis Fukuyama was a major contributor to her most recent book.

She exhibits her texts in calligraphic installations, gradually adding the languages of the countries in which the host museums are located.


A Small Man in a Big World, Editions Paradox and Guangxi Normal University Press Group, 2014, with Francis Fukuyama

The Trilogy of the Moderns

Metamorphoses, Part 1, Editions Paradox, 2012
Hypotheses, Part 2, Editions Paradox, 2011
Wonderful World, Part 3, Editions Biro, 2009

The Photographer, Edition de la Martinière and Abrams, 2008, by Caroline Gaudriault and Gérard Rancinan

Urban Jungle, Edition de la Martinière, 2000, by Gérard Rancinan, with a preface by Caroline Gaudriault



2000 to 2016

Base sous-marine, Bordeaux, France, 2016
Exhibition “ Scarcity of Miracle”

Urban Spree, Berlin, Germany, 2016
Exhibition “The Destiny of Men” Parts I & II

Montresso Art Foundation, Jardin Rouge, Marrakech, Morocco, 2016
Exhibition “Rancinan in Morocco” – inaugural exhibition for the museum of the Montresso Art Foundation

Kasteel van Gaasbeek, Brussels, Belgium, 2016
Collective Exhibition “Divine Decadence”, an exhibition in collaboration with Mechelen-based theatre group Abattoir Fermé, inspired by the book A Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans

Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Firenze, Italy, 2016
Exhibition “The Destiny of Men”, in collaboration with the author Caroline Gaudriault

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Lille, France, from september 2015 to january 2016
Collective Exhibition - « Joie de Vivre »
Curator: Bruno Girveau

National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, 2015
Permanent Collection - « Barry McGuigan »
Curator : Paul Ardenne

Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris, France, happening from june 11 to june 14, 2015
Solo exhibition – « The Destiny of Men »
Curator : Paul Ardenne

Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Monaco, april – june 2015-09-15
Solo exhibition – « Another Day on Earth »

Museum of Huelva, Spain, 2015
« The Trilogy of the Moderns »

Himalayas Art Contemporary Museum, Shanghai, China, sept-nov 2014
Solo exhibition - « The Trilogy of the Moderns »
50th anniversary for diplomatic relations betwwen France and China

Sinan Mansions, Shanghai, China, sept-nov 2014
Solo exhibition - « A Small Man in a Big World »

The Louvre Lens Museum, Lens, France, 2013 - 2018
« The liberty unveiled»

Quai d’Orsay, Ministery of Foreign affairs, Paris, France, 2013 - 2015
« Batman Family Boys»

Pinault Foundation and the city of Dinard, France, june - sept 2014
Collective exhibition with Jeff Koons, Andres Serrano, Subodh Gupta, Joel-Peter Witkin
Presentation of « the big supper »
Curator : Jean-Jacques Aillagon

Museo Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil, june 2014
Collective exhibition - « A Wonderful World ».

Art Contemporary Museum (MAC) of Lyon, France, feb-april 2014
Collective exhibition - « Moto Poétique ».
Curator : Paul Ardenne

Arts et Métiers Museum, Paris, France, oct - nov 2013
Solo exhibition - « The feast of Barbarians »

Danubiana Contemporary Art Museum of Bratislava, Slovakia, may– sept 2013
Solo exhibition - « The Trilogy of the Moderns »
Curator : Vincent Polakovic

Contemporary Art Museum Les Abattoirs of Toulouse, France, sept - oct 2012
Printemps de Septembre 2012 « L’Histoire est à moi ! »
Curator: Paul Ardenne
Collective exhibition with Anselm Kiefer, Pierre&Gilles, Mounir Fatmi

Londonewcastle Project Space, Shoreditch, London, Great Britain, june 2012
« Wonderful World »

Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy, may 2012
Solo exhibition - « The Trilogy of the Moderns »
Curator : Claudio De Albertis

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, La Haye, Holland, 2011
Reflex Miniature Museum – exposition collective avec Damien Hirst- George Baselitz – Yayoi Kusama- Roy Lichtenstein -

Chapelle Saint-Sauveur, Paris/Issy les Moulineaux, France, 2011
Solo exhibition - « Hypothèses »

The Louvre bookstore Paris, France, 2010
« Metamorphosis »

Galerie Rudolfinum, Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Praha, Czech Republic 2010
Exposition collective en compagnie de Damien Hirst, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman
« Decadence Now »

Barbizon, France, 2010
Collectiv exhibition with Combas, Erro, Klasen, Monory
« 150 artists for the 150 years of the Angelus of Millet»

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, nov-dec 2009
Solo exhibition - « Métamorphosis »
Curator : Marc-Olivier Wahler

Palazzio delle Esposizioni, Roma, Italy, may - july 2009
Exposition personnelle - « Le Photographe »

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2008
Solo exhibition - « The Photographer »

Triennale Bovisa, Milano, Italy, july - sept 2008
Solo exhibition - « La Trilogie du Sacré Sauvage »

Barcelona Art Contemporary Museum (MACBA), Spain, 2007
Collectiv exhibition

Espace Pierre Cardin Paris, France, 2000
Solo exhibition - « Urban Jungle »


Gérard Rancinan and Caroline Gaudriault
are represented worldwide by :

Fine Art Cube

+33 (0) 1 56 20 15 40