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La Place Rouge

After simulating the landing of a plane, the artist puts on his performer's clothes and grabs his equipment and technical tools for investigating the subsoil.


Moscou (RU)

Typology: Performance


Performance Place Rouge Moscou

La Place Rouge, performance, Moscou

Filmé Par Misha Lobko

After simulating the landing of a plane, the artist put on his performer's (site) clothes and grabbed his equipment and technical tools for investigating the subsoil. With the help of the latter, he carried out a systematic in-depth survey of the ground in front of Lenin's mausoleum, a stone's throw from the main entrance to the Kremlin. Until two policemen appeared in front of him. The one who seemed to be in charge ordered the artist to stop what he was doing immediately... and told him to stop this activity, which he suspected to be illegal... Very quietly, the artist told him: "Of course, I'm trying to find out what's hidden in the depths of Red Square".

As Forest expects to be arrested the leader of the two men suddenly turns around and says to his second: "Да ладно, нам все равно, эти люди сумасшедшие." (Let's get out of here, these people are crazy...)

Gorbachev's Perestroika was already having an effect... while the artist was simply expecting to be taken to the station... A few moments later the artist walked through a group of tourists still numerous on Place Rouge. He then continued his underground explorations a little further on, near the church with the golden bulbs of St Nicholas of the Weavers. Scrupulously noting down all the technical information gathered. Before moving on to a nearby excavation where workers were busy with a similar aim to his own? He set up his own electronic measuring equipment nearby for a few moments, thinking that the survey work carried out by these workers could save him some time. But he soon gave up and returned a little further on to their official lorry to put on his civilian clothes.

Fred Forest, the well-known media and communication artist whose NFT Archeology has just been added to the collections of the Centre Pompidou, put on this performance in 1989 on Place Rouge, claiming to be searching for what lies beneath the cobblestones...

It will be on show from October 2023 to April 2024 as part of the new media exhibition on the 4th floor of the Centre Pompidou.

Under my direction, this ten-minute video without sound can be shortened to 3 minutes. At a time when all the videos you receive are as anxiety-provoking as possible, this one will be a welcome smile for your viewers.

  • Journal de bord, Fred Forest, exemplaire original unique
  • Un film vidéo Betacam coproduit par N.T.T.M. Minsk (URSS) et S.H.S. Consultants (France), a été réalisé sous la conduite de Misha Lobko
  • "Comment se poser sans avion sur la Place Rouge", Paris Match, Paris, 21 septembre 1989
  • Dépêche Agence Tass


Fred Forest has a special place in contemporary art. Both by his personality and by his pioneering practices which mark his work. He is mainly known today for having used one by one most of the communication media that have appeared over the last fifty years. He is co-founder of three artistic movements: those of sociological art, the aesthetics of communication and ethics in art.

He represented France at the 12th São Paulo Biennale (Communication Prize) in 1973, at the 37th Venice Biennale in 1976 and at Documenta 6 in Kassel in 1977.