American artist Ian Padgham defends his controversial video work

A video posted on Twitter and Instagram by Ian Padgham shows the famous monument in the Place de l’Etoile in Paris surrounded by a giant rainbow installation and the words “Pride March” at the end.

An American artist who imagined the Arc de Triomphe redecorated in LGBT colors in a video, sparking controversy among netizens who believed the installation was real, Saturday June 3 estimated that “we are ill-prepared as a society” to image manipulations. A video posted on Twitter and Instagram on Thursday shows the famous monument on the Place de l’Etoile in Paris surrounded by a giant rainbow installation and at the end the inscription “The Pride March“. But this installation only exists on video: it was designed virtually by Ian Padgham, an artist who places imaginary shapes on videos that he shoots mainly in big cities.

“The Importance of Love”

Some believed that the Arc de Triomphe had indeed been decorated and condemned the militant re-appropriation of a monument dedicated to French soldiers. The forty-one-year-old artist was not surprised.

“I’m always amazed at the number of people who mistake my videos for reality. When I made one with the Louvre pyramid opening up to let the balloons escape, even Parisians believed it was real.”

Ian Padgham, artist

to the AFP agency

“This is a good example of how ill-prepared we are as a society. Maybe as homo sapiens we are not designed to see things that look real but cannot be real.”, added this Bordeaux-based American. Ian Padgham is no stranger to critical comments about his art, having worked on Twitter himself about a decade ago before becoming a freelance video maker. “The purpose of my work is not to deceive people,” said this surrealist admirer. His videos, like those of the wine-bottle-shaped Bordeaux tram, will not keep the critical mind fired up for long.

But because of the credulity of the people he lamented, “It would be so easy to produce inflammatory content that would incite violence and hatred. The Paris Pride March is scheduled for June 24. For Ian Padgham, originally from San Francisco, the city where Gay Pride was born, “The video is an attempt to show the importance of love, understanding and support. But I was more concerned about offending people in the (LGBT) community than the far right.”

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