Société Réaliste is a Parisian cooperative created by Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy in June 2004. It works with political design, experimental economy, territorial ergonomy and social engineering consulting. Polytechnic, it develops its production schemes through exhibitions, publications and conferences.
|Société Réaliste: curriculum non-vitae.|
Monument to Cold War Victory
Waiting for the mo(nu)ment
Triennale de Sorocaba
collective exhibition at Centre d'Art Contemporani Fabra i Coats, Barcelona,
October 18, 2014 to January 11, 2015
since 187!, since 19?9
|May 2012 portfolio (pdf, 12.3 Mo).|
Empire, State, Building
A life to see
Artist Pension Trust
EU Green Card Lottery
Ministère de l'Architecture
Almanach de Thélème
Cabinet Société Réaliste Conseil
The word amalgam was brought to the domain of common culture via the lexicon of alchemy, which defined it as the melting of heterogeneous elements. It is derived from the Arabic expression amal al-ğamāa, “work of flesh union”, signifying the analogy between physical intercourse and melting experimentations, as made by alchemists. What is most uncanny in terms of its etymological origin is that, for the first 300 years of its presence in our vocabularies, the word itself was subject to amalgamation: algamala, alquamala, algamana, almagala, algame, amalgana, and almagama were some of the variations it assumed before evolving into its final form, “amalgam”.
Amalgamation – or the possibility to play mahjong with the periodic table of Mendeleev. Like the old alchemistic dream of turning lead into gold or melting mercury and iron, amalgamation stands for the possibility of not only fusing distant things, but transforming them into a third entity, which would nevertheless keep the specificities of its origins. It is a tool for appropriation. Spartacus was a 1919 Berliner revolutionary. It is a tool for critical paranoia. Bernard Madoff had a North-Korean passport. It is the formula by which art becomes anything else. Constructing dentures out of philosopher’s stones.
In the exhibition at acb Galéria in Budapest, Société Réaliste presents a group of new works characterized by the “intercourse” of apparently dissimilar elements. The aborted first Russian revolution intersects with the Wall Street Crash. Reading from the left is the same as reading from the right. Árpád encounters the LGBT movement. Representation comes together with dissimulation. George Orwell meets Osama bin Laden. The commons and commerce find their link through the alphabet. Ronald Reagan converges with the victory of the Red Army. Zero merges with one.
|Views of the exhibition at acb Gallery, Budapest, February 2014. Photo: Csaba Aknay.|
In cooperation with computer engineer Frédéric Mauclère, Société Réaliste has developed a software calculating average musical notations from MIDI files. The artists used this new software to calculate the average national anthem of the 193 member states of the United Nations. It is known that although the UN is an organization born from the union of nations according to its name, does not have an anthem, a song which is going beyond the nation states self-image and self-definition.
The software, of course, carries out the operation by decomposing track by track all these anthems. It means that the very first note is the average of all the 193 first notes, the second note is the average of all the 193 second notes, etc. until the last note of the longest anthem. The universal anthem containing every anthem is born as such, but being rendered only out of machinic algorithms, it remains unplayable by traditional instruments and living people.
After presenting the project digitally rendered in Paris, Société Réaliste has organized in Cluj a first orchestral performance and the Universal Anthem. In the exhibition space of tranzit.ro/Cluj, with the contribution of the Agile orchestra and composer Cora Miron, the inevitable human interpretation was played as a composition generated for 12 instruments.
|A rough guide to Hell|
Curated by Prem Krishnamurthy and Niels Van Tomme, the project was the first solo exhibition in New York City at P!, spanning several of Société Réaliste’s recent works revolving around figures and forms of capitalist utopianism. Pitting two discrete discursive investigations against each other — the typographic language of global-local media communications and the architecture of anarcho-capitalist modernism — the exhibition resolves into a singularly strange and unsettling total installation.
“A rough guide to Hell” premieres a new typeface. Combining the logotypes of international newspapers that include geographic locators in their names, media police (2013) is a Frankensteinian font that belies its diverse origins through a fractured assemblage. All communications about the show use the typeface; this includes the storefront awning signage, which hijacks a quotation from Dante’s Inferno. A new room-sized piece, Circles of Errors (2013), introduces a recursive poetic text of common computer error messages. The media police font will be available for free download at p-exclamation.org for the duration of the exhibition.
The second axis of the show revolves around Ayn Rand and her provocative political and spatial philosophies. The Fountainhead (2010) is a 111-minute long appropriation of the 1949 feature film written by Rand. While the original film lionized New York as the stronghold of the brave, free world, Société Réaliste have digitally removed all human characters to present an empty narrative. Transforming the film’s heroic buildings into its sole protagonists, this intervention turns Rand’s original view into a nightmarish vision of capitalism’s architecture.
The final work in the exhibition, Laissez-Faire City (2013), is a new proposal based on a 1995 advertisement published in The Economist. The original full-page ad promoted investment in a speculative city in Costa Rica, based on Ayn Rand’s principles of self-rule and the rugged free-market. Laissez-Faire City will be on sale in the exhibition for the price of $62,124.75 (£40,050). This cost covers re-publishing the ad in today’s edition of The Economist — a quixotic memorial to capitalism’s idealistic moment.
|Views of the exhibition at P!, New York, September 2013. Photo: Naho Kubota.|
|UN Camouflage is a public space installation composed by 193 flags in the colors of each UN member state transformed into a camouflage pattern. The installation has been presented in 2011 in Ivry-sur-Seine, in 2012 in Tel Aviv and in 2013 on the Léopold Sédar Senghor Bridge in Paris, linking the Louvre to the left Banks of the Seine. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the flags lose their identitary character, while remaining strangely familiar. Their ideological, political or cultural peculiarities blend into a variety of shapes and colors common to all nations.||Views of the installation on the Senghor Bridge, Paris, October 2013. Photo: Illés Sarkantyu.|
|empire, state, building|
Through its title, empire, state, building primarily evokes the famous New York skyscraper, the “building/temple/work of art” that, ever since its completion in 1931, has been the mythological emblem of the United States and a source of artistic inspiration—from the 1933 movie, King Kong, to Andy Warhol’s 1964 silent film, Empire.
Images from the exhibition at Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest, April 2012:
Entrance of the exhibition; Windroad;
Images from the exhibition at Jeu de Paume, Paris, March 2011.
In 1989, the American typographer Robert Slimbach designed a serif font named "Utopia" for Adobe Systems. It probably made reference to the eruption of digital technologies and the new territories which these offered to the development of typography. He might equally have wished to underline the umbilical cord which unites the utopian theme since its foundation with the practice of writing. If utopia is actually a place, a place which doesn’t exist, it is a space of potentiality, of the eventualities, like writing itself. Utopia is a territory of text where the oxymoron is natural and evidence impossible.
A landscape of letters, as Thomas More wished for, he who, on the frontispiece of the first printed edition of his Utopia, united two contradictory objects : a drawn map of the Island of Utopia and a typographical table of its geometric alphabet. It is from there that his research emerges, neither the map of the text, not the text of the map but a form of absence in the joining of the two. A transversal time, always past, present and future ; a permanent relocalisation always here and still over there : utopia is a journey through texts, unifying moments with their locations. Unless writing is the body and utopia its shadow.
Echoing the trajectory from More to Slimback and in continuing its work on text and map binding, Société Réaliste created in 2012 the font Monotopia. The protocol for construction is simple : each character of the Utopia font is written on the superposition of every other character. An upper-case letter is written with all other upper-case letters, lower case with all lowercase, a number with all numbers. Like an egalitarian cabala where no matter what the letter, all the others will also be laid down. Or like an obligation to refuse the distinction between ornament and shape.
At Galerie Michel Rein, Société Réaliste has experimented with their typography by presenting ornamental accumulations of Monotopia, reproducing the rythmics of political mantras, mixing the fundamental directions, researching the connections between number and dates, trying to define the shape of any date and any place, registering the common transversality of time and space, or refusing to inscribe the privative u- of Utopia.
|A life to see|
Throughout her career, Leni Riefenstahl has shot and edited 10 hours 01 minute 19 seconds and 10 frames of motion picture. She lived for 101 years and 17 days. A life to see is a film composed of the 901,985 frames authored by Riefenstahl, edited in order to last the same time as her life, 885,768 hours. The frames are projected randomly and each of them appear only once, for a duration of 59 minutes. The complete 601 minutes soundtrack of Riefenstahl's filmography is edited in its chronological order and accelerated to an overall duration of 59 minutes, repeated over each frame. The projection of the film begins on Friday, 17 February 2012 and will finish on Tuesday, 7 March 2113.
|Watch the film online|
The city amidst the buildings
Société Réaliste has exhibited in 2011 two new sets of artworks, speculative explorations of the common scripture practice shared by architecture and discourse. Those two exhibitions, "The City amidst the buildings" (Akbank Sanat, Istanbul) and "Archiscriptons" (Galerie Mosseri-Marlio, Zurich) ask a persistant question: is the writing of architecture the same as the architecture of writing? The revolving discourse of this question constructs a space between recent artworks, drifting from one to the other, and ranging from film to written photography, from installation to inscription.
Works on display include Société Réaliste's full-length movie The Fountainhead (2010), based on the 1949 capitalist propaganda eponymous film written by Ayn Rand, arch-priestess of American libertarianism and author of some of its strongest cultural myths. The original studio movie tells the story of a Promethean modernist architect - a character based on the figure of Frank Lloyd Wright - fighting against a surrounding collective decadence in the name of his personal genius. Société Réaliste has removed the sound and deleted every human presence to reduce the film to its decorum, its ideological architecture.
As an echo to the disappearance of the topic in the film, Société Réaliste presents Commonscript (2011), a series of 48 panels, equitably melting emptied videograms extracted from The Fountainhead with inscriptions. The images show stereotypical and almost abstracted modernist architectural views from a Prime City (New York), extracted from the original 1949 film script. The sentences are the main ideological affirmations personally stated by the hero that have been systematically transcripted by Société Réaliste in the plural form. Turning a supposedly autonomous discourse into a generalized one, allows to counter-balance the ideal views of a standardized world. The link between the personal and the general in the inscriptions is made in a new font designed by Société Réaliste entitled Falling Haus (2011). This centaur font is the hybridization of Frank Lloyd Wright's font named "Exhibition", and Josef Albers' global-abstract font, known as "Universal".
Additionally, a color chart has been defined under the title Colours of the Spectre (2011) based on architectural color nuances from some of the world’s most important seats of executive power. A bridge between views and scriptures is opened in the middle of this speculative area. Written-over photographs presented as lightboxes use the same methodology: the view of a building covered by an inscription which is drawn by a motif: the building's master plan. A gift from Birobidzhan presents the other end of the spectrum: a manhole cover supposedly coming from the capital city of the Jewish autonomous oblast in Siberia, created in 1928 by Stalin. The city plan is surrounded by a never achieved modernist grid - emblem of its unfinished and unattainable project. Another link between semantic blocks, human scaling and architectural projection is Fingerprint Architecture, an installation mimicking an architectural model, composed of fingerprint books for unregistered inhabitants. As an extraction point to the speculative space constructed by the exhibition, the sculpture Archiscripton takes the form of a tattooed version of Le Corbusier's iconic Open Hand.
|Images from Archiscriptons, November 2011:
exhibition view #1; view #2; view #3; view#4; Archiscription (ensemble; detail); Closed Number; Colors of the Spectre (ensemble; detail); Commonscript (installation view; ensemble; detail); Fingerprint Architecture (ensemble; detail #1; detail #2); A gift from Birobidzhan; Hazard Abolished; Ellipse by Eclipse; Function as Fiction; Runes of Ruines; Voices for Voids; New Alphabetical Order - Swiss Francs.
ArtLeaks is a collective platform initiated by an international group of artists, curators, art historians and intellectuals in response to the abuse of their professional integrity and the open infraction of their labor rights.
Only by drawing attention to concrete abuses can we underscore the precarious condition of cultural workers and the necessity for sustained protest against the appropriation of politically engaged art, culture and theory by institutions embedded in a tight mesh of capital and power.
ArtLeaks has been launched by Corina L. Apostol, The Bureau of Melodramatic Research, Chto Delat?, Valentina Desideri, Vladan Jeremic, Vlad Morariu, Postspectacle, Société Réaliste, Stefan Tiron - Paradis Garaj, Raluca Voinea, and Zampa di Leone.
|In 2008, Société Réaliste has launched "Culture States", a thematic research whose title is naming the disappeared states of the 20th century, or more precisely the states that have been proclaimed and that vanished strictly after 1900 and before 2001. The project generally examines the state as a constructed level of cultural space representation and thus, as a deconstructable one.
As a first phase of the research, data were gathered from the European peninsula. This "data gathering" work took the narrative form of an applied research intending to curate an "Exposition" on the model of the historical "Exposition internationale des arts et techniques appliquées à la vie moderne", held in 1937 in Paris, a key cultural moment of the confrontation between Imperial States intrumentalizing their pretended culture (Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, France, United Kingdom et allia). More than seven decades after this event, what is the relation between political and cultural entities nowadays ? In the case of « Culture States », the actors of this « nation's circus » expo are not dominating cultural nations, but on the contrary ephemeral, fragile, disputed, precarious and fluctuating political entities, states that existed sometimes some years, sometimes some days.
Scale of control in itself, the state obstructs territorial observation and restrict cultural patterns. "Culture States" designs analyse devices aspiring to disclose the nocuous dependence of cultural constructions on the logic of states. This logic vitally calculates the extension, the maintenance and the lengthening of the state's exercice of inclusive power. The instrumentalisation of cultural forms is plainly part of this exercice. This instrumentalisation is the core theme of "Culture States".
After producing for the last four years tools, drawings, texts, displays, sketches and installations encompassing the core matter of « Culture States », Société Réaliste would like to advance a second stage of its project, under the form of a book, to be published in collaboration with tranzit.ro (Cluj). The book will aim at presenting historical material to justify processual bridges and analytical orthonormy implied between the various cases of « Culture States » at stake. While restricting its research to the European peninsula and the Russian empire territory, Société Réaliste has identified 99 « culture states ».
Inside the book, different ranges of material will be edited. A part will be dedicated to « technical sheets », presenting all the « culture states » following a system of information, mixing historical narrative data with geographical ergonomy particulars. In a different section of the book, essays will problematize the ongoing unequivalence between political entities and cultural areas, as well as open up perspectives for a renewed productive political critique of nationalisms. The iconographic aspect of the book will be constructed by Société Réaliste with ancient and new visual works from the « Culture States » body of research, together with a strict protocol of design, unifying this hybrid and multidirectional project.
|Culture States: some views of the preliminarily exhibition at Labor Galéria, April 2008 (a); (b); (c) ; drawings extracted from the project and published as a portfolio (pdf, 524 Ko); Transections for a definition in absentia (Mucsarnok, view of the installation); four maps extracted from the project (Tri Postal, Lille, view of the installation); six images extracted from the project (Nova Galerija, Zagreb, view of the installation); views from the installation for the 11th Istanbul Biennial.|
|Artist Pension Trust|
Artist Pension Trust (APT) is the first investment program created specifically to provide emerging and mid-career artists with a long-term financial planning opportunity through the collective contribution of their artworks. The purpose of the organization is to provide long-term financial security to artists who otherwise may not have a retirement plan.
Each Trust consists of up to 250 artists, signing 50 artists per year over a five-year period. APT consists of eight individual Trusts, developed around 8 major art centers: New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Mumbai, Beijing, Mexico City and Dubai.
The growing collection currently stands at 4,000 artworks and represents more than 1,000 artists from over 50 countries. APT Curatorial is an artwork lending program and exhibition planning service that offers curators and museums access to APT's extensive holdings of contemporary art from around the world. APT Curatorial simplifies the exhibition process by providing a diverse selection of artworks to lend as well as fully curated exhibitions. Through the APT website at www.aptglobal.org, curators can browse the collection, research artists, and initiate the loan process.
|L'avenir dure longtemps|
L'avenir dure longtemps, Appendix, Rennes.
Within the frame of the 2nd Rennes Biennial dedicated to the topic of "future", Société Réaliste has presented a newly produced in situ work, entitled "L'avenir dure longtemps, Appendix, Rennes", that attempts through a repeated typographical and vandalistic act to turn the former convent hosting the exhibition into a collective tomb. Out of a complete list of the 167,000 registered adult and legal inhabitants of the city, the cooperative has designed a plan of the convent and extracted from it 4,200 names, in order to write them in the concrete floor of its exhibition room.
|L'avenir dure longtemps, Appendix, Rennes: plan of the convent (pdf, 212 Ko); general view of the sculpture; partial view #1; partial view #2; detail #1; detail #2.|
|EU Green Card Lottery|
To address the issue of global immigration management, Société Réaliste has devised a three-part project consisting of a website, a promotional campaign and a physical installation. The EU Green Card Lottery website mimics a very specific type of website - “parasite” websites - which exploit aspiring migrant workers hoping to apply for the American Green Card Lottery system. These sites encourage migrant candidates to apply to the U.S. State Department Lottery through them and pay for this service which is actually free. These parasite websites are designed to resemble official U.S. Sites complete with star-spangled banner, bald eagle, statue of liberty, etc. but are really just frauds – another component of the vast engine of the migration business. The EU Green Card Lottery promotional campaign drives people to the website. Usually displayed in various contexts, the physical installation is a meticulously created and totally fictional EU Green Card Lottery Registration Office. The idea is to stay as close as possible to what could be an official EU program, in order to engage with the main problems and principles of the generalized migration business.
EUGCL website: screenshot.
The Lagos File
In 2009, Société Réaliste has produced a first installation publically presenting a section of the EU Green Card Lottery project's database, within the frame of Living Together, a collective exhibition hosted by Montehermoso (Vitoria-Gasteiz), and then by MARCO (Vigo). The installation has been reformulated for its exhibition within the frame of the 10th Lyon Biennial.
|Ministère de l'Architecture|
|MINISTÈRE DE L’ARCHITECTURE (MA) is an ongoing project developed by Société Réaliste under the form of an administration and a production unit, devoted to work on various aspects of the politics of the space. This administration produces studies, public presentations for the results of its inquiries – sometimes under the form of exhibitions -, and advertisement or communication material.||MA: logotype.|
MA: Sansar Khan
MA: Sansar Khan has been the first intervention of Ministère de l’Architecture, under the form of a video projection in the public space in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Mongolia is the territorial result of a nomadic civilization. To approach the Mongolian context, such questions as those of transitory spaces, outlandish dynamics, moving power, organization of the limits, were and remain central. MA: Sansar Khan is an advertisement video, projected on a huge pixel screen installed in Suchbaatar, the Ulaanbaatar’s central square. This video informs the Ulaanbaatar’s population of the very soon beginning of the transformation of Suchbaatar square into a Mongolian “city of space”. This city of space is named Sansar Khan. Sansar Khan means “Cosmos Emperor” in Mongolian. This astrodrome project is named in tribute to Jugderdemidiin Gourragtcha, the first and only Mongolian cosmonaut that spent 7 days, 20 hours and 43 minutes in space for Mission Soyouz 39, in March 1981. Gourragtcha chose the surname of “Sansar” after coming back from his space travel.
MA: Deuxième contact
The purpose of MA: Deuxième contact has been to put together edges of various scales: What is the common place to Lake Lugano, Dubai, Mexicali, Andorra, Tulkarm? Can circulating margins be an answer to the politics of outsides? Is there a common point between Philolaus' cosmology and Charlemagne’s political nearshoring? Do security fences and their covered ways have the same shape? Is there a “becoming-transnistrian” of Parisian suburbs? On Friday October 27, during a “finissage”, Société Réaliste has presented the results of its work.
(During a solar eclipse, the second contact (“Deuxième contact”) is the instant when the Moon's disc is entirely surrounded by the Sun's or the instant when the Sun's disc disappears completely behind the Moon's. During a lunar eclipse, the second contact is the instant when the Moon enters completely into the Earth's umbra. This is the beginning of totality.)
MA: Volksballast der Republik
This phase of the Ministère de l'Architecture project consists in the exhibition of a ministerial statement about the blocks as a perception unit. The ministerial statement is a fax (10 A4 pages, official headed paper, black&white), in the Ministère’s characteristic font, Uni0553. This ministerial statement intends to be the scenario of an exhibition to come.
MA: Volksballast der Republik (The Seminar)
The previous ministerial statement became the first topic to be approached by the Educational Program set up by Ministère de l'Architecture. This piece consists on one side in an algonigram of ministerial disciplines, on the other in the detailed program for the first semester of Ministère de l'Architecture's Master of Arts and Science in Politics of the Space (PS-MASc).
MA: Soliton is a typological inquiry about Solitonism, commissioned by Ministère de l’Architecture. In this research, Ministère de l’Architecture has demanded to continue the work of some eminent physicists about non-linear waves, by proposing to extend the analysis of Solitons to the field of the politics of space, and more precisely for reading activities like design or the erection of buildings.
MA Deuxième contact: exhibition view; Paris map; Biennale de Paris catalogue excerpt (french, pdf, 824 Ko); portfolio of the project.
MA Volksballast der Republik: fax (pdf, 880 Ko)
|Almanach de Thélème|
Almanach de Thélème is a new compendium, projected to become a book, to be printed soon. This work in development plans to be a topography of Thelema (“Thélème”), the fictitious utopia imagined by François Rabelais, twenty years after Thomas More’s book, in its 1535’s masterpiece, "The Very Horrific Life of Great Gargantua, Father of Pantagruel". But relating to the author’s own life-long concern with publishing formats, the book will take the shape of a classical Almanach, just as the one designed by the same Rabelais under the title of "Almanach pour l’an M. D. XLI" (1540). This publication is introduced by a text entitled Introductory dialogue between an educated philanthropist, living in the countryside near Paris, and Jacques, his gardener (delivered on January 2009 at Academie Jan van Eyck, Maastricht) and by an exhibition, Pligatures, presented at Galerie Martine Aboucaya (February-April 2009).
|Almanach de Thélème: Fac Quod Vis, aerial view of the Abbey (a).|
Pligatures is the title of a text published by Société Réaliste in the Winter 2009’s issue of Multitudes, a Paris-based review for radical philosophy. As a contribution to this issue, Société Réaliste also devised four visual objects, extracted from its recent corpus of cartographic experiments. Pligatures takes this contribution as a departure point for an exhibition. Société Réaliste proposes to relate a range of 18 artworks, both ancient and re-instanced or produced for this specific exhibition, on a formal basis; the one standing in between the two elements composing the French neologism Pligatures.
“Pli” means in English the “Fold”, and “ligatures” remains unchanged. Thus, Pligatures concerns the plastic processes of folding an object to transform it and producing ligatures to relate heterogeneous objects. In the exhibition, Société Réaliste intends to make coherently interfere its research on glyphs and graffitis, on classical and experimental cartography, on logotyping, heraldry and vexillology or on frontiers on a less derivative point of view. While producing bonds between such differential materials, Société Réaliste intends to pragmatically overcome its current state of plastic interrogations, as presented in its most recent conferences Glyphs & Strata (San Francisco Art Institute, October 2008) and Xenos / Xenia (Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, February 2009).
|Pligatures: Barbarus; Cartophony of the Land of the Free; Dymaxion Palace; Esprit; Cosmopolites de tous les pays encore un effort (graphic view); EUGCL: résultats questionnaire; Eugonics; Limes New Roman (detail); Prototype of frontier; Rockall; United Nations Brown.|
|Under the name COuNterFORMISM, Société Réaliste has proposed a mural work within the frame of the exhibition Typopass, an exhibition dealing with conceptual typography and experimental design, held at Dorottya Galéria, Budapest, in Fall 2009. This work consists in an articulation of various inscriptions and writing techniques, extracted from the ongoing constitution process of Almanach de Thélème.||COuNterFORMISM: installation views (a; b; c; d; detail); poster produced for the exhibition; Crisis as/vs order; Counterformism in Hexatopia; New alphabetical order in experanto.|
|Marka is the umbrella title under which Société Réaliste develops an enquiry about the relations between the objectual money and the specific history of geopolitical strategies inherited from Charlemagne. Starting from the etymological origin of the word marka, meaning "sign of a frontier" in Gotic language, that gave words such as march, margin, trademark, to mark, etc, this ongoing research tries to confrontate various range of signs through the historical constitution of the European empire, from its Carolingian militaristic conception to its contemporary economical shape.||Marka: 1-euro coin (a); (b); (c); installation view, Paris (d); installation view, Budapest (e); (f); (g); Invisible Hand (h); East Bank (i); Euro-related World Map (j); (k); (l); installation view, Vienna (m).|
Archivolt of straits
For the specific context of the Athens Biennial 2009, Société Réaliste has designed Archivolt of Straits, an entrance door for its respective exhibition. This door is an intertwining of doors as represented on the Euro banknotes, in different architectural style and colour, from the « classical » gray 5 euros banknotes to the « baroque » green 100 euros banknotes. Playing with a potentially infinite perspective made out of doors leading to doors, Archivolt of straits is a proposal for an Entrance Gate of the European Union.
|Archivolt of straits: presentation of the door; display for Athens Biennial (a); (b).|
In 2006, Société Réaliste has launched Transitioners, a trend design agency, specialized in political transitions. Transposing the principles of prospective design, generally used by professionals in the field of fashion, to the field of politics, the project questions the revolution (transition?) as a central category for contemporary Western society. How can a "democratic transition" be produced? What is the role of design in the permanent conversion of political flux into mythology? How can the effect of an event on citizens be transformed into a controlled affect?
Depending on present atmosphere, Transitioners defines the general climate, in which future social transformation movements will take place, in order to maximize their efficiency. Like any other trend design bureau, Transitioners' clients are designers, who can use the bureau's proposals to design the revolutions to come: logotypes, color charts, lexical fields, etc. For each new step in the project, Société Réaliste conceives a new trend collection, originated by a precise historical event.
|Transitioners: logo; Chirurgie de l'illusion, a text by Hajnalka Somogyi for Art21, about the Transitioners project (french); Scanned version.|
Aperiodically, the Transitioners trend agency publishes an information bulletin about contemporary political design facts worldwide.
|Aperiodic bulletin: issue n°1 / Division; issue n°2 / Secession; issue n°3 / Reunification; monochromatic presentation of issue n°3, Ernst Museum; issue n°4 / Switchdrawal; presentation of issue n°4, exhibition Splav Meduze.|
Bastille Days Collection.
If the first collection designed by Transitioners has been dedicated to the French Revolution, it is mainly because it represents a founding myth for modern revolutions. It is the first “democratic revolution” in the western history. It left us a broad heritage of political lexicon (notions like “political left” and “right”, “activist”, “radical”, “terrorist”, “civil society”, “universal republic”, “modern citizenship”…). It is a primitive drama, full of heroes, anti-heroes, revolutionary archetypes, feats of arms, actions and sudden developments… This revolution can be read as a kind of paradigmatic structure for modern revolutions: an oppressive regime overthrown, the war between revolutionary factions, the temporary reign of terror, a moderate renovation of order and then the birth of a new oppressive system. This typical quaternary structure is used to structure this collection: tradition, transgression, pacification, renovation.
|Bastille Days Collection: Trafo Gallery, Budapest (a); (b); (c); Kunstpavillon, Innsbruck (d); (e); (f); (g); (h); (i); (j); MKTTK, Moscow (k); Mains d'Oeuvres, Paris (l); (m); Ze dos Bois, Lisbon (n); (o); (p); (q); (r); (s); (t); (u); (v); Galerie Martine Aboucaya, Paris (w); (x); (y).|
The 2008 collection, entitled Le Producteur is based on the utopias developed during the first three decades of the 19th century, by thinkers such as Fourier, Enfantin, Rodrigues, Cabet, Owen, or Saint-Simon. The central question of the 2008 collection is related to the progressive separation of liberalism and socialism. While they have a common origin and were not differentiated by major utopist thinkers, the events of 1830 and 1848 progressively opposed them. This binary confrontation between liberalism and socialism still constitutes the basis of our common representations. For Transitioners, the interrogation of this ideological chasm, of its accuracy and its contradictions, is central. The stake of the collection Le Producteur consists in knowing how these movements share a common ideological base, and how the later can nourish the design of future transitions.
|Le Producteur: advertisement (a); (b); La Synagogue de Delme (c); (d); (e); Transmediale 08 (f); Utopia Transfer (g); (h); (i); Module presentation at your-space / Van Abbemuseum (j); (k); installation view at NCCA, Moscow.|
London View and has been inspired by the 1848 European Revolution, also known as the Spring of the Peoples. This 2009 collection approaches the very specific context of 1848 and the new political paradigm experienced in those days: the scheme of a synchronous and continental revolutionary attempt. Indeed, from the first students and workers demonstrations in Paris at the beginning of February 1848 to the end of the Hungarian Civil War in December 1849, forty revolutions took place in Europe. Amsterdam, Ballingarry, Berlin, Bern, Bologna, Bratislava, Bucharest, Cologne, Craiova, Copenhagen, Chemnitz, Dresden, Frankfurt, Iasi, Kiel, Lucerne, Lviv, Mannheim, Milan, Munich, Naples, Novi Sad, Palermo, Ploiesti, Plzen, Poznan, Prague, Rome, Split, Stuttgart, Timisoara, Torun, Trento, Trieste, Venice, Vienna or Wiesbaden have been the theaters of major collective events that continue to interrogate nowadays political context: collective spontaneity, polycentric organization, international collaboration by means of communication and "glocal" networking.
|London View: advertisement; Hold & Freight, London (a); (b); (c); Color picker - detail (d); (e); display for Ideology of Design, Novi Sad.|
|Cabinet Société Réaliste Conseil|
Cabinet Société Réaliste Conseil is an international legislative consulting firm whose mission is to help leading parliaments create and sustain competitive legislation. As a truly international firm, we focus on meeting the special conditions of worldwide leadership and the singular needs of legislative agendas designed for the politics of tomorrow.
|Cabinet Société Réaliste Conseil: logotype; COM-EU (2007) 02 final. (The 2007 Almanac of Political Art, chapter 2); installation at Edinburgh Sculpture Centre: (a); (b).|
|CSRC: Cultural Propelled Funds is a synthetic document adressed to the Commission of the European Communities, briefly presenting the Cultural Propelled Funds plan.||Cultural Propelled Funds: COM(2008) 091 syn (.pdf, 188 Ko, french); detail of the installation; installation view at Ernst Museum.|
PONZI'S is an application of the pyramidal scheme in the field of contemporary art. This project aims to be a tool for developing and integrating art to its background by converting it to a profitable activity for artists, art venues and audiences. Following this profit-making principle, in economic terms as well as ethical ones, Ponzi's allows to imagine new perspectives for contemporary art democratization and its higher adherence to social realities. Ponzi's is not only an art corporation: it is also a new attitude facing the social and economic responsabilities of the artist. Developed and finished in five exhibitions, Ponzi's has now the form of its explicitation.
Ponzi's has been developed within the frame of the series of exhibitions “How to do things? In the middle of (no)where…”.
|Ponzi's: some points about the project; Ponzi's rules; Ponzi's voucher; Ponzi's franchise; Ponzi's office (Budapest); Ponzi's first franchisee classroom (Kiev); Ponzi's managers training room (Bucharest); Ponzi's board of directors (Copenhagen); 360° Parasite, a Ponzi's party for Berlin. ; Ponzi's explanation, Paris ; MoBy Hosting, Bat-Yam, Israel (a); (b); (c).|
|i/ THE GREAT KARAOKE SWINDLE, 2006; ii/ IN ACTION!, 2006; iii/ GANDHI BÜRGER, 2008; iv/ EXCLAVE, 2008; v/ PLIGATURES, 2008; vi/ TARIF D'ENTREE, 2009; vii/ SIDING WITH THE BARBARIANS, 2009.|
|The Great Karaoke Swindle|
|Published in How to do things? In the middle of (no)where…, catalogue of the project, Revolver Publishing, Frankfurt/Main, 2006.||The Great Karaoke Swindle: english text; version française; magyar verzió.|
In Action! is a publication project initiated by Sparwasser for TRAFO Gallery.
|In Action!: Conspire - incoherent sentences on a diversified topic, acontribution by Ferenc Gróf; Dear Jean-Baptiste, a contribution by Jean-Baptiste Naudy (pdf, 36 Ko).|
|Published in Journal of Visual Culture: D12 Dissection, volume 7 No 1, London, 2008.||Gandhi Bürger: version française; english text.|
|Exclave, a conversation between Metahaven and Société Réaliste about cosmopolis, dominium, Euregions, branding and politics.|
|Published in The HTV, No 72: A Democratic Brand Paradox, Amsterdam, 2008.||Exclave: full english text (pdf, 1,2 Mo).|
|Published in Multitudes, n° 35, Paris, Winter 2009.||Pligatures: version française.|
|Text of the lecture "Xenos / Xenia" given by Société Réaliste at Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, on February 25th, 2009, turned into a text to be published.||Tarif d'entrée: lecture at Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (online video).|
|Siding with the Barbarians|
|Published in Foreign Policy in Focus, online publication from Washington D.C., June 15, 2009.||Siding with the Barbarians: online text.|
Société Réaliste also develops its work under the form of collaborations or peculiar art history reading. Several works illustrate these miscellaneous activities.
|A place for everything in its place|
A place for everything in its place is a color interface for US parking lots. Based on the official stats of the most popular car colours in the US (19% are silver, 16% are white, etc), Société Réaliste proposes a classification system for the parking lot following the color of the users' cars. An orientation system in order for people to park their car in the right place, and to arrange car by color space. A visual order that functions as environmental participative design and takes the form of a explanation panels, reminding which color is allowed to park in each division of the parking lot.
A place for everything in its place has been implemented on the parking lot of The Standard Hotel in Hollywood, California, as part of "Art in the Parking Space", a project by Warren Neidich and Elena Bajo, realized within the frame of Pacific Standard Time / LAXART on January 24, 2012.
|Explanatory panel; view of the classification (red); view of the classification (white).|
|In October 2007, on the occasion of the Herczeg Klára Prize awarding, Tamás St. Auby and Société Réaliste exhibited together at Stúdió Galéria, Budapest, a set of works dealing with the complexification of geography.||AtL(e)As(T.) CoMpleX: exhibition view.|
|Upon the cancellation of the Manifesta 6 Biennale, destined for Nicosia, Cyprus, we have re-assembled our network of presupposed participants in the undertaking of collective works.|
Manifesta 6, Department 3: Abschlussball is a collaborative initiative from 20 of the selected students from Dept III of the “failed” Manifesta 6 school-as-biennale project. The term “failed” is purposefully in quotations. The mishap of the project has transformed it unforeseeable directions – becoming the first purely textual biennial. Since the inception of the project until now it has manifest itself exclusively through a collection of texts (applications, press articles, curatorial statements, legal documents, publications, emails, etc). This transformation has re-positioned the intentions, but has unwillingly produced the most trans-disciplinary biennial of its’ kind, involving, but not excluded to the juridical, political, diplomatic, intellectual, media, economic and aesthetic spheres.
From this perspective the “still-born” network of Dept III participants, is seeking to reanimate itself into a “zombie network” as a collective, productive machine. These collaborative efforts are focused on a co-authored “confetti contract” – a text built in intervals between all participants of fragments, statements, digressions, interactions, re-writing, definitions and discords that take place amongst such a large group.
|M6 DIII Abschlussball: press release; final draft contract.|
|Manifesta 6, Department 3: Off Season
M6.1: OffSeason is a site-specific project mobilizing the lost network of the former Manifesta 6, Department III student body. The international network of cultural producers (now comprised of 13 participants), is the result of an appropriated network of accepted “students” into the Manifesta 6 Dept. III “school-as-biennale” project, which was scheduled for Nicosia, Cyprus in 2006, but was later cancelled due to political tensions in the divided city of Nicosia. M6.1: OffSeason is a collectively authored ‘Tour Guide’ of the island, written and edited as a large group, scheduled for October 8 - 21, 2007, off-season tourist time. The project re-appropriates both the network, as selected by the curator of Department III, M6, and the site of its presupposed activities. For a period of two-weeks, the lost-network will convene in Nicosia, and later disperse to research, write and photograph off-season, ‘off-tourist’ locations and themes of their choosing throughout the island and city on both sides of the border.
|Over the counter|
|Over the counter (OTC) is a work realized within the context of Multitudes Icones, a collective website contributing to the Documenta 12 Magazine project. OTC intends to answer the three questions asked by D12 and reformulated by Multitudes. Is modernity (y)our aftermath? Is bare life your apocalyptic political dimension? What is to be done after the D12 Bildung programme? To the first question, OTC replies by launching a call for donation; to the second one by displaying Société Réaliste's International Bank Account Number (IBAN); to the last question by going public with the minimal information necessary to access this bank account (click Progéliance Net).||OTC: call for donation; IBAN; user+password; advertisement (to be printed); installation view at Buy Sellf, Marseille: (a); (b).|
The International Graffiti Museum (IGM) is dedicated to the study of urban signs. Its public access is fragmentary. A room after the other.
MDCCLXX IX -- International Graffiti Museum #1
MDCCLXX IX is the first public presentation of the International Graffiti Museum project (IGM). MDCCLXX IX is the name of IGM's inaugural room, its introduction, its antechamber. IGM does not have any cash machine.
|MDCCLXX IX - IGM#1: excerpt from My Inscriptions; Exhibition view; Exhibition view, detail (a); (b); (c); Some graffitis in situ (Paris): rue du Prévôt; rue de la Grange aux Belles; Notre-Dame; Palais de Tokyo; Party Party, an action at OPA (Paris).|
DISTAL -- International Graffiti Museum #2
In the gas chambers of the death camps, only two traces of the methodical massacre remain. On one hand, there are blue marks, maculae left by Zyklon B. On the other hand, tracks scratched by dying people.
[ Distal ] : of Latin distans, distant.
|DISTAL - IGM#2: installation view; in the afternoon; detail; after dark.|
APPENDIX -- International Graffiti Museum #3
Appendix (IGM # 3) is the cabinet of the International Graffiti Museum devoted to one of the oldest practice of the mural inscription, that of Ancient Mesopotamia.
Appendix takes as starting points of its work three fundamental cultural practices developed by Mesopotamians from the fourth millennium BC to the seventh century BC. Mesopotamians created the first cities. They invented the cuneiform writing, one of the first known form of writing. They built ziggurats (pyramidal temples). They wrote the first epics, fixing a great part of the cultural background of the Near East. The Mesopotamian texts were registered on clay tablets, on the walls of the ziggurats, even on the public sculptures. The old epic is a text of laws. The epic style was used as an allegorical transcription for the cultural frames : power, religion, relation to oneself, all the social life precepts were contained in it. It is a synthesized expression of the ancient social structures. The epic text is law of the language as much as grammar of the men.
In Appendix, Société Réaliste proposes a grammar of error, what is never thought by the tables of laws, what exceeds, what makes appendix to any framework. Mistakes of language, in the most general way: grammatical errors, errors of perception, errors of conceptualisation, logical errors.
Appendix is a tool. It is a stencil, a "normographe" that can be used for the reproduction of its own typographic police and, perhaps, for the reproduction of its own errors.
[ Appendix ] : Latin name.
|APPENDIX - IGM#3: zinc plates; grammar (pdf, 756 Ko); alphabetical table; wall drawing; appendix font (ttf, downloadable); public space display of the grammar, Prague.|
|VERSADE - IGM #4: introduction; Versade compass; online access to the project: English version; Magyar verzió; Documenta 12 Magazine website.|