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1974

Restany dîne à La Coupole

The action takes place in two phases:

  • In the first phase, the artist invited the critic Pierre Restany to lunch at his home in L'Haÿ-les-Roses on the outskirts of Paris.
  • In the second phase, Fred Forest distributed an invitation written on a sheet of paper with the letterhead of the Coupole establishment.

Sociological 

Paris (FR)

Typology: Installation

Medium and media: Vidéo

#Espace-temps 

1974

Restany dîne à la Coupole

1974

Explications Restany Coupole et Mme Soleil

1974

Restany dîne à la Coupole

Restany dîne à la Coupole
1974
Restany dîne à la Coupole
Explications Restany Coupole et Mme Soleil
1974
Explications Restany Coupole et Mme Soleil
Restany dîne à la Coupole
1974
Restany dîne à la Coupole

Concept

Linking two places. Linking two times. Appropriation of a social venue (a brasserie) as a place for cultural action. Carrying out a diversionary action. Video staging of a character (Pierre Restany) referring to the history of the place, in a space for social staging, where users also come to stage themselves to some extent.

Device

The action takes place in two phases:

  • In the first phase, the artist invites the critic Pierre Restany to lunch at his home in L'Haÿ-les-Roses on the outskirts of Paris.
    He sat him down, alone at the table, in front of a camera that filmed him continuously in a fixed shot. Fred Forest had, of course, explained his project to the art critic beforehand. Not only did the critic enthusiastically endorse it, but he also used his credit with the Lafon brothers (legendary owners of the La Coupole brasserie) to obtain the agreement needed to occupy the premises and serve the video-meal.
  • In the second phase, Fred Forest sent out an invitation on La Coupole's letterhead.
    This document, like an exhibition preview, invited the public to attend Pierre Restany's video dinner at La Coupole on 22 October at 8.30pm! He has reserved a table in the central aisle opposite the entrance. This is where he will be setting up his video installation. Raising it on directories at table height, he placed a monitor slightly back on the red reps bench. The immaculate white tablecloth will be pulled back until it conceals the video recorder under the table, slid to the floor. The table is set. The service, as agreed with the brasserie management, will proceed normally. The maître d' orders, the chef de rang intervenes, then the dishes arrive one after the other and the drinks are opened.

A second table has been reserved a few metres away, where Pierre Restany, who is physically present, is also dining alone, wearing a coloured, checked shirt, just like the one he wore when he first recorded the video at the artist's home. A few metres away from his cathode-ray double, Pierre Restany is chewing in near-synchrony, while a light (a gyroscope) on both tables in the brasserie ensures that the two tables are visually linked. Of course, the critic, true to his character and his sense of humour, fulfils his role perfectly, with all the seriousness and distance necessary in relation to the character he represents and embodies in this place steeped in the history of painting.

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.

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