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1990

Anniversaire de Vilém Flusser

Vilem Flusser celebrates his birthday at the Ecole supérieur d'art d'Aix-en-Provence.

Communication 

Aix-en-Provence (FR)

Typology: Performance

1990

Anniversaire V. Flusser, Aix-en-Provence

IN ORDER TO PRESERVE ITS AUTHENTICITY, THIS VIDEO HAS NOT BEEN EDITED.

Vilem Flusser celebrated his birthday at the Ecole supérieur d'art d'Aix-en-Provence on the initiative of his friends. Louis Bec, who was very close to him, organised the event. On the one hand, he had a personal relationship with the Director and, on the other, Flusser regularly visited Aix-en-Provence on his travels throughout Europe with his wife Edith, who never left his side. The following musicians were also present: Louis Bec, Fred Forest, most of Flusser's German and Austrian publishers, Pierre Lévy and several academics of all nationalities who had made the journey to Aix.
On this occasion Fred Forest will be presenting "Les gestes du professeur écoulées depuis" in the Amphi of the Ecole. When it was created at Fontevrault, the concept was conditioned by two constraints:

  • The duration of the tapes on the portapack was 20 minutes, but as we didn't know how long Flusser's explanatory speech, which was improvised, would last, we decided that Vilem's speech would be considered over when the tape reached the end of the 20 minutes. 
    If everything he felt he had to say had been said and the tape still had some slack, we would both have to wait for the mechanical end of the tape in front of the camera without saying anything. Which is exactly what happened.
  • The second condition was that, as this would be an endless video, each time it was shown in front of an audience, the gestures of the audience present would have to be recorded. And the video thus produced was to be added to the initial tape, which would then be made up of a succession of added tapes, so as to ultimately obtain a continuous tape (in other words, a work without end...).
    During the viewing at his birthday party in the lecture hall at the Ecole d'Aix, Flusser himself found himself in the position of the 'viewer' of his own video made 26 years earlier, with Fred Forest once again at his side as his accomplice. Their gestures, recorded on this occasion, can be added to the initial video, thus respecting the protocol established 26 years earlier... The people around them are visibly fascinated by this situation, created from scratch, and the smiles on everyone's faces show the respect they all have for this very strong personality, as well as a shared complicity, and almost a great tenderness for this outstanding intellectual.

The second part of the video shows Fred Forest presenting Vilem Flusser with his birthday present. It's a one-page press insert from the daily Nord Matin (circulation 90,000), which he named 'Le Trou' in memory of a way Flusser used to point at him at the various conferences they attended together. 

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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