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2015

OSI Centre Pompidou

This performance was organized by the artist himself in the contemporary art galleries of the Centre Pompidou against Bernard Blistène, then Director of the MNAM-Musée National d'Art Moderne, to force the latter to finally sign the contract for his retrospective.

Communication 

Paris (FR)

2015

OSI Centre Pompidou

Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone
2015

Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone

Voir la vidéo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QSH3IytYW4&list=PLj_D14W2lWVMPzIadJfnRRvkwyk_N9x6A

Voir la vidéo

Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone 2
2015

Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone 2

Voir la vidéo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3PeWMWQktU

Voir la vidéo

OSI Centre Pompidou
2015
OSI Centre Pompidou
Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone
2015
Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone
Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone 2
2015
Fred Forest - Performance Participative Smartphone 2

OSI Centre Pompidou

L'OSI or Œuvre-Système invisible,  (Pujeau was absent that day, but asked some friends to take care of the filming).This performance was organized by the artist himself in the contemporary art galleries of the Centre Pompidou, against Bernard Blistene, then Director of the MNAM, to force him to finally sign the contract for his retrospective. This contract was being dragged out in the secret hope of seeing his exhibition cancelled in the meantime, despite the fact that the exhibition had long been endorsed, more than two years earlier, by Alain Seban, President of the Centre Pompidou... who, alas, has since retired. Blistene did her utmost to prevent Forest from staging his retrospective. As we all know, signing this contract is essential if the artist is to raise the funds from sponsors so that the exhibition can go ahead. The Centre would only contribute part of the budget required for the exhibition. The artist therefore took over from the authority of the Director of the MNAM, and organized his own exhibition within the Centre, without reference to anyone... and to him in particular. Substituting himself in some way for his authority, Fred Forest takes possession of the premises as if he were at home. Taking the additional insolence of inviting Blistene to his performance on the given day and time. He also told him that he felt his presence was indispensable, and that absentees are always at fault!  The latter had to accept this in all duplicity, although his secretary replied that Mr Blistene would not be able to make it to Paris that day... Forest thought that his seizure of power within the institution would finally unblock his future contract. A prognosis that proved perfectly true, lending credence to his long-established communication strategies.

Forest's performance consisted, with the help of the audience, in appropriating the site.

He summoned a large audience via social networks.

To do this, the artist stuck a label on the wall behind him, after signing it with his initials. He explained to the audience (including Alain Seban, ex-President of the Centre Pompidou, who had come to support him...) that, according to Duchamp, this label was itself a work of art. He then invites the public, to whom his assistants have handed out labels, to do likewise, filling the entire space not only of the contemporary art galleries, but of the entire museum. And when they reach the end of the contemporary art gallery, he invites them to affix their labels to the large picture window that closes off the back. There, according to the artist, the labels take flight over the rooftops of Paris, bouncing off into interstellar space... And then return to each of the participants, who can call them up on a website provided on their smartphone. (Indeed, right at the start of his performance, Forest announced his title: "Performance OSI" (contraction of "œuvre système invisible") and Performance smartphone, with his assistants clearly marked on their T-shirts with the URL to be reached at time T). Passing, in turn, from the visible to the invisible, before returning to the visible when the labels take shape on the smartphones... all in line with his theoretical theses published by L'Harmattan. (1) One of these participants, to my great delight, was Alain Seban, ex-President of the Centre Pompidou, apparently delighted by my initiative and to play this trick on his former Director... I did think of calling in a bailiff to have the scratching of the numerous works on the walls, carried out on Blistene's orders, recorded as a clear offence of destroying works of art. Unfortunately, however, the bailiff I contacted informed me that he had no legal authority to carry out an inspection inside the Centre... but only on the outside. The charge of destruction of works would of course have given me a good opportunity to bounce back my action by extending it with a new lawsuit brought against the Centre Pompidou... 😊

Some years ago, following a similar problem with a Swiss museum, the late Harald Szeemann wrote to me as follows: http://www.webnetmuseum.org/html/fr/expo-retr-fredforest/textes_critiques/auteurs/szeemann_jan1992_fr.htm#text/

OSI ou Œuvre Système Invisible

It's 2014/2015 and Bernard Blistène, then Director of the MNAM Centre Pompidou, has me sticking my tongue out to obtain the contract that ratifies my retrospective exhibition due to take place in 2017. The Centre Pompidou's usual practice is to hand over this contract as soon as possible to the artist and his gallery, whose job it is to seek additional funding for the budget of such an exhibition. As I've never had a permanent gallery, I have to go looking for potential sponsors myself. Is Blistène playing on my nerves by keeping me waiting? When Alain Seban, who was defending me, came to the end of his contract, Blistène was quick to tell me on the very day of his departure: "Now, my dear Fred, I'm in charge of the Centre and I'm not going to do you any favours". In fact, our relationship had deteriorated over the years, and with his ever-gentle demeanor, he intended to make me pay for my free speech towards him.

In any case, I was paralyzed, without a contract in hand, to face up to this hellish retrospective, and I'd never be able to convince a sponsor. 

To force him to sign this paper, which had been ready since Alain Seban's departure, I devised a stratagem of rare provocation.

Tribute to Alain Seban

Since leaving the Centre Pompidou for the Cour des Comptes, he has kept a very low profile. Perhaps he thought that none of the artists who surrounded him at the time were still thinking of him. Well, at least one artist is thinking of paying him a heartfelt tribute here, and thanking him for having taken the trouble, in the space of three years, to get to know his work and become his greatest defender in the shadows. And this at a time when none of his own curators at the Centre had given him a single glance. It was this artist who recognized him as a great servant of the State, no doubt, but also as a man of great intelligence and finesse, capable of getting to the heart of the most cutting-edge and anticipatory research in contemporary art.

I'll never have enough relevant words to thank him infinitely for his support.

I ask you to see him again in the video performance shot at the Centre Pompidou by Jérémie Pujau in this so-called OSI performance in 2015, when he had already left the Presidency of the Centre Pompidou. My praise for this exceptional figure will certainly surprise many, as I'm so used to castigating those who deserve it 😃 Up until now I've kept quiet so as not to embarrass him, but I don't think he'll mind me thanking him infinitely today, for the unfailing support he's shown my atypical artistic practice.

Thank you again, and a few words about the nature of this performance.

This performance was organized by the artist against the then Director of the MNAM (God rest his soul or the devil rest his) to force the latter to finally sign the contract for his forthcoming retrospective. This contract was being dragged out despite the fact that the exhibition had long been endorsed, more than two years earlier, by Alain Seban, President of the Centre Pompidou, who has since retired... As we all know, signing this contract is essential in order to be able to raise additional funds from sponsors so that the exhibition can go ahead, with the Centre providing only part of the necessary budget. The artist, therefore, substituted his own authority and organized the exhibition himself within the Centre, without referring in the least to anyone else, and to him in particular. In a way, he took authority and possession of the premises. Taking the additional insolence of inviting our MNAM Director to his performance, telling him that he considered his presence indispensable... and that absentees were always wrong 😃

The latter cashed in on this duplicity, having his secretariat reply that "absent from Paris that day, Mr. X would unfortunately be unable to attend...". Indeed, Forest thought that his seizure of power within the Institution would finally unlock his future contract. Forest's performance consisted, with the help of the public, in appropriating the premises. To do this, the artist signed and stuck a label on the wall behind him. He explained to the audience (including Alain Seban, ex-President of the Centre Pompidou, who had come to support him) that, according to Duchamp, this label had itself become a work of art. He invites the public, to whom his assistants have handed out labels, to do likewise, by filling the entire space not only of the galleries and the Museum, but also arriving at the end of the gallery to affix their labels to the large glass window that closes off the back. There, according to the artist, the labels take off outwards, bouncing back into interstellar space and back to each of the participants, who can recall them on a site provided on their smartphone. One of these participants, to my great pleasure, was Alain Seban, ex-President of the Centre Pompidou, apparently delighted by my initiative and to play this good trick on his former Director... I did think of calling in a bailiff to have the scraping of works affixed to the Museum's picture rails by the public, carried out on the orders of X, the Director of the MNAM, recorded as the destruction of works. But unfortunately the bailiff informed me that he had no legal standing to intervene inside the Centre... The charge of destruction of works would of course have given me a good opportunity to extend my action...

Some years ago, following a similar problem with a Swiss museum, the late Harald Szeemann wrote to me as follows:

http://webnetmuseum.org/html/fr/expo-retr-fredforest/textes_critiques/auteurs/szeemann_jan1992_fr.htm#text

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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