Jacques CHIRAC was photographed on many occasions by Éric LEFEUVRE. The photographer followed the politician in the exercise of power, in his official trips, his moments of representation, in his intimacy and even in his moments of solitude. The photographic work of LEFEUVRE makes it possible to retrace the many facets of the complex personality of Jacques CHIRAC.
"Tall, slender, with piercing eyes, with a carnivorous smile, I could see him advancing with his hands often in his pockets, a little thug, to go among the French. He dominated everybody with a head, we could see him from a distance and we could not ignore him. "
Eric LEFEUVRE was a privileged witness of the incredible career of Jacques CHIRAC, which he followed from 1984 to 2016. 32 years during which LEFEUVRE was able to immortalize the corridors of power, with one of the politicians the most important of the Fifth Republic.
After the election of MITTERRAND in 1988 Jacques CHIRAC is K.O., he rebuilds himself and leaves "on horseback" thanks to the help of his daughter Claude. He confided to Éric LEFEUVRE: "If I win the next legislative elections of 1993, this time, I will not go to Matignon. I understood ! } ". He therefore asks BALLADUR to take the place, the two friends then contact each other regularly, but little by little their relationship deteriorates. CHIRAC sees his support escape him. The Guignols of the info make fun of their quarrel, portray CHIRAC looser but at the same time make it nice.
And then, in 1995, François Mitterand who is more and more sick will help him, by talking in his office of the City of Paris. A scene that LEFEUVRE describes as "a dungeon". The magic operates, the curves are reversed and CHIRAC precedes BALLADUR then JOSPIN. He is elected President of the Republic with 52.64% of the vote. 30 years of hard work and perseverance end up paying.
For 13 years CHIRAC is president of the French. He is also confronted with dramatic situations, such as the attack on the Saint Michel station on July 25, 1995. He also faces many challenges, such as the deficit that forces him to review his policy as early as 1996, or the long period of cohabitation, which does not prevent it from rebounding. The 2000s also have their share of sorrow, with the attack of September 11, 2001. CHIRAC knows how to shine internationally, traveler of the world, he also knows how to remain firm and to take courageous decisions while opposing for example to the war in Iraq.
Since 2016 Jacques CHIRAC is old and diminished, to keep in mind his fighting spirit and biting, nothing beats his good words and aphorisms, which he had the secret. Here is a small anthology:
"Let’s be careful that our critical mind does not turn into a spirit of systematic denigration"
"We do not export democracy in an armored van. "
"Pessimism opens the way to all renunciations. "
"The power does not share. "
"Of course I’m left! I eat sauerkraut and drink beer. "
"The preference for the present and its facilities always has a cost for the future. "