UNTEL
LA BOÎTE UNTEL - Archives 1975-1980


UNTEL

 

From Friday May 24 to Friday August 16, 2013
CV UNTEL
Press release
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Price list of the works on display

 

Happenings and joyful provocation are words that would quickly summarize UNTEL’s actions. But what does this anonymous appellation refer to? (UNTEL is a French word that is difficult to translate into English, it means something like « unnamed, unidentified ».) Who are those people that can’t be named? 

UNTEL is a group of artists consisting originally of three French artists, Jean-Paul Albinet, Philippe Cazal and Alain Snyers. (Wilfrid Rouff replaces Alain Snyers when he leaves the group in 1978.) During its short but passionate existence, from 1975 to 1980, the group has led numerous actions in the public space. The common denominator of the group’s actions is the examination of the day-to-day life, a social and political questioning, very close to the revolutionary ideas of May 1968 and situationism. 

Today, almost forty years have passed since their first projects, but UNTEL’s action still seems extremely contemporary and very relevant considering what the three fellows smilingly exposed about the present reality.

In collaboration with UNTEL, mfc-michèle didier publishes today LA BOÎTE UNTEL (the  UNTEL box), a new edition limited to 24 copies. LA BOÎTE UNTEL compiles a series of testimonies of the group’s actions led in the second half of the seventies, providing a coherent ensemble of objects and documents. Carefully collected in the box, there are: cards, historical articles and critic’s reviews, flyers, the famous inkpad “PLUS RIEN À VENDRE TOUT À ÉCHANGER“ (Nothing for sale any more, everything for trade), or the ironic “touriste“ badge, one of their favorite accessories.

LA BOÎTE UNTEL will be the core of the exhibition while the archive's cards from the box will be displayed in a significative installation conceived by the UNTEL group especially for the occasion. The installation is limited to 8 copies. 

The exhibition of UNTEL at mfc-michèle didier gallery is also the occasion to show two historical installations by the group: La ville 365 jours par an, 1976 and Faits divers, 1979. The work La ville 365 jours par an (The city 365 days per year) consists of 56 urban photographs installed like in a patchwork, creating an impressive ensemble, associated with the following text: “Semaine calme et sans histoire à la bourse de paris, où les cours, d’un vendredi à l’autre, sont restés pratiquement stables.“ (Calm and uneventful week at the Paris stock market where the prices, from one Friday to another, remained almost stable.) Faits divers (literally: trivia) gathers 44 photographs of the group’s interventions, creating a iconographic memory of UNTEL’s work. Through this work, UNTEL tells its own story. UNTEL documents its own artistic activity and applies to himself the recurring modus operandi of their work: documenting, archiving, and describing the everyday experiences. 

Does it mean that we may consider UNTEL's action as post-fluxus? The idea of an art that first and foremost has to be experienced and lived, seems indeed in line with UNTEL’s considerations. 

 

Exhibition views

 

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