Can we decently start an article with a quote from Proust? This should be prohibited by the European Court of Human Rights but legally nothing prohibits it (yet) so why deprive yourself of it? So here it is: “A book is prepared like a dress or like a war”. Turning the pages of “Justice” – classified in the category “beautiful books” – signed Thomas Klotzthere is no doubt that the latter has fought meticulously to achieve this perfect balance between the images selected and the authors brought together to enlighten, question or humanize this immense notion, this unpredictable machine, this pillar of a society that is justice.
Photos, Thomas Klotz has been developing them himself since he took them, that is to say since the age of thirteen (a good three decades then). He had time to put his hands in, to position himself differently behind the lens, to take care of the color, to touch the light. In reality, to gain this eye for the composite talent (what and when to shoot?) that one finds from the mauve of the pockets of files piled up from the Court of Appeal of Douai to the salle des pas perdus of the court of Boulogne-sur- Sea, empty, immaculate, almost an Italian fresco if its armchairs were not crossed out with red tape sign of times of pandemic. Same approach and colorist result in the dish of saffron mussels prepared by paquita, victim of the Mediator or the decor of Lavomatic chosen to immortalize a criminal lawyer, voiceless the day before her pleading, lemons and ginger hoped for magic to bring back the voice placed at her feet. The tones explode. The grain materializes.
Thomas Klotz doesn’t just show. Through his prints, he assembles and tells stories. A lawyer who asks her clients to collect cockroaches, bed bugs and other pests from their prison cell. When she makes requests for release to get them out of pre-trial detention, she puts the transparent bags on the magistrates’ desk. They are before our eyes. Like this tenor, the most illustrious lawyer of his generation, who became Minister of Justice “jostling, decried, attacked by his former colleagues”. More than the political arena wants since we forgive our people less. Here is Eric Dupond-Moretti under the golds but tired. Will he ever be able to turn back? Maybe not. The trauma will pass faster than in Eric Dussart, exactly the same age, great reporter for the Voix du Nord forever marked by this news item from 1997 (kidnapping, rape and murder of four little girls) which would not have been revealed if he had not carried the voice of the families of the victims. Then comes the desire to embrace this profession and intimacy. A hotel room scene at night, near the Pantheon. An associate on the eve of the third round of the Law aggregation. This terrible exercise that we call “the 24”, 24 hours (night included) to prepare your subject after having shot it and presenting it to the jury. The rented room not far away to maximize working time. Geographical inequality, again. The test contested by some academics, some students for its brutality.