Florian Ebner: […] Oliver Sieber and Katja Stuke are not permanent fixtures in this society: however, as resident artists at the Cité Internationale des Arts, they were confronted with the first “acts” of the yellow vest movement.
In this sense, they are distanced observers and do not take sides, although they are not indifferent: they observe how the conflict writes itself into the city’s narrative. Their route follows and intersects with that of the actors involved that day, leading them along Rue de Rivoli, past the Louvre to La Madeleine, on to Gare Saint-Lazare, past the Métro Liège to the Galleries Lafayette, along Boulevard Haussmann to Place de la République, and at night back to the Bastille and the Cité des Arts.
Their perspectives keep shifting between the side of the road and the middle of the street, locating the actors—in the midst of all the activity on the street—in relation to the setting, recording the lesser defilements as well as the greater devastation, individual passersby being checked by plainclothes police officers and the wholesale deployment of the security forces.
Their 113 photographs depict nothing more and nothing less than six hours of a day of protest, one act in this social drama, one more dies irae for French society, of which there have been an abundance recently, from the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks to the general strike and the demonstrations against police brutality. They capture the visible configurations of a social protest, whose political rhetoric remains unclear, and are thus equally eloquent as an account of the social fault lines within society.[…]