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2013

Soirée Nomade Fondation Cartier

Art critic Paul Ardenne presents the Soirée Nomade devoted to Fred Forest, with the participation of Ruth Erickson, member of Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art.

Communication 

Paris (FR)

Soirée Nomade Fondation Cartier
2013

Soirée Nomade Fondation Cartier

2013 Soirée Nomade Fondation Cartier

FONDATION CARTIER POUR L’ART CONTEMPORAIN
MONDAY DECEMBER 2, 2013

Art critic Paul Ardenne presents the Soirée Nomade devoted to Fred Forest with the participation of Ruth Erickson, member of Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art.

Nine excerpts from Fred Forest's historic videos saved by Ina were presented:

  • Opening up the mass media
    Space media sur la télé (1972)
    La photo du téléspectateur (1976)
    La bourse de l’imaginaire (1982)
  • Sociological, social, engaged, participation
    Le blanc envahit la ville (1973)
    Promenade sociologique à Brooklyn (1973)
    Les miradors de la paix (1993)
  • Communication technologies
    Archéologie du présent (1973)
    Télexpérience (1975)
    Mètre carré /Le territoire (1977)

 This evening deserved, says the artist, to be extended by a few reflections. Indeed, each time, in the same circumstances, I've experienced the feeling of not having said all the essential things I had to say, and sometimes of having lacked clarity in my remarks.

I'll come back to five points that seem essential to me:

  1. As the choice of program for this Soirée Nomade was left to the organizers, I had to follow them. The program was based exclusively on the presentation of now-historic works saved by Ina, dating back some forty years. Works that had to undergo several format conversions (from 1/2 inch tape to Sony Portapack, to UMATIC and then... to digital), works that had to be stored in my cellar in precarious conditions for years, to the indifference of French institutions - a deafening silence to my appeals to proceed with this safeguard. I owe this safeguarding to one individual, Gilbert Dutertre, and to him alone, who worked tirelessly within Ina to pass on the information to his superiors, until he succeeded.

The fact remains that these old, partly altered tapes, which some people have just seen, represent a historical past which in no way defines me. They only represent an era of my life that I have since left behind. For my artistic practice has never ceased to develop in line with technological advances, as Paul Ardenne pointed out here.

  1. The element of language that Paul Ardenne first mentioned about my work, and which Ruth Erickson then picked up on, is the reference to Web 2.0. It's a reference in which I fully identify with the original interaction, communication, participation and simulation system implemented in the Territoire du m2 project.

Indeed, most of my actions have been linked to the notion of participation since 1967, and of networks, connections and systems since 1977, and we could say, without abusing language, that this was FaceBook before FB existed.

  1. During the evening, François Rabaté spoke to the audience about the notion of the work. The notion of "work", as it has prevailed for centuries and is not yet totally obsolete, is in the process of being drastically adjusted. Is this notion still relevant when it only translates into traces in photographic or videographic form, or traces of one-off events? Are the works that still deserve the name concrete objects that can only be embodied in duly "objectal" forms that can be touched, for example, with the hand? Yes, in my view, we must not confuse the medium with the symbolic content it conveys. Leonardo da Vinci already said that art is "causa mentale", and to deny this idea would be to deny the very existence of Conceptual Art and, what's more, the emerging art forms that follow the cultural changes of our societies, which are always moving towards greater dematerialization.
  2. Another element of language to which I'd like to return, extending the previous point, aptly made from the floor by Manuela Manzini: that of "reactivation", to restore trace works to their original moment of authenticity by replaying them, as it were, or having them replayed, as Marina Abramovic did. If we traditionally think of works of art only as physical objects, what about the immersive richness of a Bill Viola DVD or a Stendhal novel, represented by a packet of sheets of paper weighing 650 grams?
  3. In this manipulation of forms and...traces to produce meaning, the artist is not just an animator in the usual sense of the word. He is above all the creator of an original device that brings others (in the best of cases...) into his own concept (by animating them), in order to help create meaning with them.

This evening deserved, says the artist, to be extended by a few reflections. Indeed, each time, in the same circumstances, I've experienced the feeling of not having said all the essential things I had to say, and sometimes of having lacked clarity in my remarks.

I'll come back to five points that seem essential to me:

  1. As the choice of program for this Soirée Nomade was left to the organizers, I had to follow them. The program was based exclusively on the presentation of now-historic works saved by Ina, dating back some forty years. Works that had to undergo several format conversions (from 1/2 inch tape to Sony Portapack, to UMATIC and then... to digital), works that had to be stored in my cellar in precarious conditions for years, to the indifference of French institutions - a deafening silence to my appeals to proceed with this safeguard. I owe this safeguarding to one individual, Gilbert Dutertre, and to him alone, who worked tirelessly within Ina to pass on the information to his superiors, until he succeeded.

The fact remains that these old, partly altered tapes, which some people have just seen, represent a historical past which in no way defines me. They only represent an era of my life that I have since left behind. For my artistic practice has never ceased to develop in line with technological advances, as Paul Ardenne pointed out here.

  1. The element of language that Paul Ardenne first mentioned about my work, and which Ruth Erickson then picked up on, is the reference to Web 2.0. It's a reference in which I fully identify with the original interaction, communication, participation and simulation system implemented in the Territoire du m2 project.

Indeed, most of my actions have been linked to the notion of participation since 1967, and of networks, connections and systems since 1977, and we could say, without abusing language, that this was FaceBook before FB existed.

  1. During the evening, François Rabaté spoke to the audience about the notion of the work. The notion of "work", as it has prevailed for centuries and is not yet totally obsolete, is in the process of being drastically adjusted. Is this notion still relevant when it only translates into traces in photographic or videographic form, or traces of one-off events? Are the works that still deserve the name concrete objects that can only be embodied in duly "objectal" forms that can be touched, for example, with the hand? Yes, in my view, we must not confuse the medium with the symbolic content it conveys. Leonardo da Vinci already said that art is "causa mentale", and to deny this idea would be to deny the very existence of Conceptual Art and, what's more, the emerging art forms that follow the cultural changes of our societies, which are always moving towards greater dematerialization.
  2. Another element of language to which I'd like to return, extending the previous point, aptly made from the floor by Manuela Manzini: that of "reactivation", to restore trace works to their original moment of authenticity by replaying them, as it were, or having them replayed, as Marina Abramovic did. If we traditionally think of works of art only as physical objects, what about the immersive richness of a Bill Viola DVD or a Stendhal novel, represented by a packet of sheets of paper weighing 650 grams?
  3. In this manipulation of forms and...traces to produce meaning, the artist is not just an animator in the usual sense of the word. He is above all the creator of an original device that brings others (in the best of cases...) into his own concept (by animating them), in order to help create meaning with them.

Le critique d’art Paul Ardenne présente la Soirée Nomade consacrée à Fred Forest avec la participation de Ruth Erickson, membre de l’Institute of Contemporary Art de Boston.
Neuf extraits des vidéos historiques de Fred Forest sauvegardées par l'Ina ont été présentés :

  • Ouverture des mass media
    Space media sur la télé (1972)
    La photo du téléspectateur (1976)
    La bourse de l’imaginaire (1982)
  • Sociologique, sociale, engagé, la participation
    Le blanc envahit la ville (1973)
    Promenade sociologique à Brooklyn (1973)
    Les miradors de la paix (1993)
  • Technologies de la communication
    Archéologie du présent (1973)
    Télexpérience (1975)
    Mètre carré /Le territoire (1977)

Cette soirée méritait, affirme l’artiste, d’être prolongée par quelques réflexions. En effet, j’ai chaque fois dans les mêmes circonstances, vécu le sentiment de n’avoir pas dit tout de l’essentiel de ce que j’avais à dire, et quelquefois d’avoir manqué de clarté dans mes propos.

Je reviendrai ici sur cinq points qui me semblent essentiels :

  1. Le choix du programme de cette Soirée Nomade ayant appartenu aux organisateurs, j’ai du m’y conformer. Un programme fondé exclusivement sur la présentation de travaux désormais devenus historiques sauvegardés par l’Ina, datant d’une quarantaine d’années. Des travaux ayant du subir plusieurs reconversions de formats (de la bande 1/2 pouce au Portapack Sony, à l’UMATIC puis... au numérique) des travaux qui ont du être stockés dans ma cave dans des conditions précaires des années durant dans l’indifférence des institutions Françaises un silence assourdissant à mes appels pour procéder à cette sauvegarde. Cette sauvegarde, je la dois à un seul individu, Gilbert Dutertre, et à lui seul, qui au sein de l'Ina s’est employé inlassablement à faire remonter l’information dans sa hiérarchie, jusqu’au moment où il a obtenu gain de cause.
    Toujours est-il que ces vieilles bandes en partie altérées que certains viennent de voir, représentent un passé historique qui ne me définit nullement. Elles représentent uniquement une époque de ma vie que j’ai laissée derrière moi depuis. Car m’a pratique artistique n’a eu de cesse de se développer en fonction des avancées technologiques comme l’a fait remarquer ici même Paul Ardenne.

  2. L’élément de langage que je retiens émis en premier sur mon travail par Paul Ardenne, puis repris par Ruth Erickson, c’est celui de la référence faite au web 2.0 . Une référence dans laquelle je me retrouve entièrement dans le dispositif original d’interaction, de communication, de participation et de simulation, mis en œuvre dans le projet présenté du Territoire du m2.
    En effet mes actions sont liées pour la plupart à la notion de participation dès 1967 et de réseau, de mises en relation, de systèmes. dès 1977 et l’on pourrait dire, sans abus de langage, qu’il s’agissait là de FaceBook avant que FB n'existe.

  3. La notion d’œuvre fut abordée dans le public par François Rabaté au cours de cette soirée. Cette notion d’œuvre telle qu’elle a prévalu des siècles durant, sans être encore totalement obsolète, est en passe d’ajustements drastiques. Est-ce que cette notion est encore pertinente quand elle ne se traduit que par des traces sous formes photographiques ou vidéographiques, ou de traces d’événements ponctuels ? Est-ce que les œuvres qui méritent encore ce nom, sont des objets concrets qui ne peuvent que s’incarner sous des formes dument “ objectales “ qu’on peut toucher par exemple de la main ? Certes oui à mes yeux, il ne faut surtout pas confondre le support avec le contenu symbolique qui est véhiculé par ce dernier. Léonard de Vinci disait déjà que l’art est "causa mentale " et vouloir nier cette idée serait nier l’existence même de l’Art conceptuel et, de surcroît, les formes d’art émergentes qui suivent les changements culturels de nos sociétés toujours vers une plus grande dématérialisation.

  4. Autre élément de langage sur lequel j’aimerai revenir en prolongeant le point précédent, émis depuis la salle avec pertinence par Manuela Manzini: celui de " réactivation " pour redonner à des œuvres-traces leur moment premier d’authenticité en les rejouant en quelque sorte, ou en les faisant rejouer, comme l’a fait Marina Abramovic. Si nous imaginons traditionnellement et uniquement les œuvres d’art comme des objets physiques, qu’en est-il de la richesse immersive dans laquelle nous plonge un DVD de Bill Viola ou un roman de Stendhal, représenté par un paquet de feuilles de papier pesant 650 grammes ?

  5. Dans cette manipulation de formes et de...traces pour produire du sens, l’artiste n’est pas seulement un animateur au sens courant du terme. ll est avant toutle créateur d’un dispositif original qui fait entrer (en les animant) les autres (dans le meilleur des cas...) dans son propre concept afin de contribuer à créer du sens avec eux.

LONG BIOGRAPHY OF FRED FOREST

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.

EXHIBITION AT THE CENTRE POMPIDOU FROM JANUARY 24 TO JULY 22, 2024

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