UNTEL LE SAC UNTEL, 2013
Kraft paper bag printed on both sides, 32 x 42 x 14 cm
Bag made and printed by Biopack & Logistics
Produced and published by mfc-michèle didier in 2013
© 2013 UNTEL and mfc-michèle didier
NB: All rights reserved. No part of this edition may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission of the artist and the publisher.
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 brief but passionate existence, from 1975 to 1980, the group has led numerous actions in the public sphere. The focal point of the group?s actions is the examination of the day-to-day life, shaped by social and political questioning, and impregnated by the revolutionary ideas of May 1968 and situationism. The proximity of UNTEL?s creation process to this idea of the lived experience has led the artist Ben Vautier to designate UNTEL historically 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.
UNTEL leads these actions as if they are investigations, inspired by the day-to-day life, and exposes the banality and the insignificance of the every-day life with our contradictions and alienations. In order to express their ideas, UNTEL uses a multitude of accessible materials and techniques: photography, film, sound, environments, gesture, corporal actions, objects, etc. Therefore, UNTEL?s work can be considered through their video, photo or sound archive, as well as through the ?accessories? they invented and produced in order to activate their urban adventures in the most pertinent, relevant way.
LE SAC UNTEL is one of UNTEL's famous accessories used in the framework of their actions. For FIAC 2013, UNTEL actualizes a performance of 1978: PLUS RIEN À VENDRE, TOUT À ÉCHANGER. UNTEL diffuses, with mfc-michèle didier's complicity, LE SAC UNTEL, the UNTEL bag, a minimal and radical work, a simple empty kraft paper bag, with mentions "UNTEL" and "PLUS RIEN À VENDRE, TOUT À ÉCHANGER" (Nothing for sale, everything for trade). LE SAC UNTEL is available on mfc-michèle didier's booth in exchange for a symbolic euro.
According to the principal of the commercial promotion, mfc-michèle didier gallery proposed every day a flash-sale. At this occasion, le SAC UNTEL, containing a certificate of authenticity, numbered and signed by the three artists of UNTEL (Albinet / Cazal / Snyers) was offered. During the 30 minutes of this flash-sale, UNTEL was no longer anonymous. The buyer will have to pay the «inflated» price of 30 ? in order to receive the UNTEL bag authenticated by its authors.
The bag is one of the symbols of consumption as it is the traditional vessel for purchases. By writing PLUS RIEN À VENDRE, TOUT À ÉCHANGER, UNTEL reminds us of the origin of trade economy based on barter exchange before it was replaced with the consumer market mediated by money that we know today. Exchanging LE SAC UNTEL in return for 1 ? in an international contemporary art fair such as FIAC, where transactions usually count six figures, distances the work from the notion of selling. Is there an amount that has to be reached to have a sale? Sale or trade: would it just be a question of state of mind then?