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Bertini, Gianni / Chopin, Henri
Dream machines de Brion Gysin. [Motif group from Festival de Fort Boyard].
Paris / Essex, 1967-1972.

#17283. A group of three artworks featuring a repeating Mec Art motif designed by Gianni Bertini. Comprising: (1) an original poster from the street-art project Festival de Fort Boyard; bright-red serigraph on thick sheet (68 x 53 cm.). This copy having been mailed to art critic Pierre Descargues; with manuscript address and postmarks to one of the verso panels. Fold-lines from mailing, but otherwise well-preserved. Accompanied by (2) a second printing of the same screen (with some modifications); printed in dark-blue ink on painted-white cloth (47 x 39 cm.). As well as (3) a collage work by Henri Chopin, signed, dated, and titled to verso as artist proof (Avec 3 figures: Bertini - Beguier - H.C., 1972); collage assembled onto cork-board disc (23 cm.) bound in stamped-foil.

The Paris of May 1968 is almost synonymous with posters. In the Summer previous, however, Gianni Bertini and Henri Chopin were themselves experimenting with the potential for posters to incite the Imagination.

With the Festival de Fort Boyard, the duo worked with collaborators—shall we just call them Lettrists?—to invent an imaginary avant-garde summer festival to take place on an island off the Atlantic coast (Fort Boyard), which had previously served as a Napoleonic military fortification. The programme was planned and corresponding posters were designed—to be pasted in the streets that surrounded Paris’ art galleries. It was an impressive line-up: Brion Gysin, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Serge Béguier, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Mimmo Rotella, and Gil Wolman. Some passer-bys took the posters as truth, and ventured the five hours drive west to Rocheford, where speed boats were supposed to greet them.

Both Bertini and Chopin would return to the imagery from these posters throughout their careers. Here, with this group of three artworks—i.e. an original Festival poster, a later Mec Art print/painting, and a retrospective collage—one particular image is recycled; the Barbarella-like muse that Bertini designed for Brion Gysin’s imaginary Dream machines performance, with its proposed apparatus for 18 spectators.

For more from the Festival, see this original poster illustrated by Serge Beguier, as well as the imaginary catalogue from 1970.


3500 USD

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Jason Rovito, Bookseller / ILAB, ESA, RBMS / Avant-garde. design history, human sciences / Because the Cloud forgets