Camera positions on 9th October 1934, La Canebière street, Marseille, France

  Title: The First Murder

Media: Double channel SD video
Duration: 2'25''
Year: 2008





The murder of Yugoslav King Aleksandar I Karadjordjević and French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou on October 9th 1934 happened in front of cameras on the La Canebière street in Marseille. The footage shows death of public figures, the first of a kind in the history of medias. The American version of this film, produced by Universal Newsreels, was introduced with dramatic voice over: “You are about to see the most amazing pictures ever made!”

The First Murder is a reconstruction of the "most amazing pictures ever made" until 1934. It does not deal with the actual event, but with the images of that event. The only way of producing identical pictures was to establish the exact spots in the street where the cameraman stood on October 9th 1934. This would not have been possible had the place where the assassination occurred not remained almost the same as it was back in 1934. I decomposed the original film into individual frames to compare them with satellite image of the assassination site. All that is contained within the frame of a particular shot was found in the satellite image, and the position of the cameramans at the given moment was revealed.
  After a complete map of all the camera positions was made, I went on the assassination site to repeat those shots. There is no murder in the reconstructed images, for the content of those images was not a priority, partly because the original film, owing to its importance, competes with the actual event that it shows, and partly because in the media society images carry a greater value than the events they show.