Signal

Creator: 
Groupe Signe (Claude Rosticher, Michel Cresp, Pierre Blanc, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri)
Mass Moving (Bernard Delville, Raphaël Opstaele)
Performer: 
Groupe Signe (Claude Rosticher, Michel Cresp, Pierre Blanc, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri)
Mass Moving (Bernard Delville, Raphaël Opstaele)
Producer: 
Groupe Signe (Claude Rosticher, Michel Cresp, Pierre Blanc, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri)
Theoretical background: 
We wanted a large gathering. For the first time, almost one hundred and fifty artist, for the two thirds organized in groups, get together to communicate their work but also to meet. In our opinion, these conditions go beyond the artistic context and aspire to a sociological dimension. If art little by little breaks with the myth of personality and cultural privileges, if such meetings reconnect with the street, the daily routine, life, it is not however about erecting this phenomenon as a new institution. We know that only the permanent questioning is capable to preserve the dynamic of the provincial parallel movements, and that this questioning is also the guarantee of their authenticity.
Occurence: 
Places: 
Starting date: 
08 03 1973
1973/8/13
Topology: 
Background: 
in the scope of Signal, plastic art event from August 3 to 13, 1973.
Creator: 
Groupe Signe (Claude Rosticher, Michel Cresp, Pierre Blanc, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri)
Michel Cresp
Roland Marghieri
Claude Rosticher
Producer: 
Groupe Signe (Claude Rosticher, Michel Cresp, Pierre Blanc, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri)
Michel Cresp
Pierre Lequien
Claude Rosticher
Performer: 
Groupe Signe (Claude Rosticher, Michel Cresp, Pierre Blanc, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri)
Pierre Blanc
Michel Cresp
Pierre Lequien
Roland Marghieri
Claude Rosticher
Adress: 
route Napoléon
Grasse
France
Documents: 

Extrait du fascicule "Groupe Signe, dossier activités"

Type: 
Imprimé
Technique description référence: 
Extrait du fascicule "Groupe Signe, dossier activités"
GROUPE
Groupe Signe, Michel Cresp, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri, Claude Rosticher, Mass Moving, Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville | trace de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © DR | courtesy de l'artiste
Groupe Signe, Michel Cresp, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri, Claude Rosticher, Mass Moving, Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville | trace de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © DR | courtesy de l'artiste
Groupe Signe, Michel Cresp, Pierre Lequien, Roland Marghieri, Claude Rosticher, Mass Moving, Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville | trace de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © DR | courtesy de l'artiste

Affiche de la manifestation "Signal", 1973

Type: 
Imprimé
Technique description référence: 
Affiche de la manifestation "Signal", 1973
ALOCCO
Groupe Signe | Affiche de la manifestation "Signal", 1973 | © Groupe Signe | courtesy Marcel Alocco
Groupe Signe | Affiche de la manifestation "Signal", 1973 | © Groupe Signe | courtesy Marcel Alocco
Description: 
[…] We had a shock, it was La Rochelle [the meetings of La Rochelle in the early 70s gathered groups of artists coming from all around France, Ed]; the City Hall told people "exhibitions in the street" which the population interpreted as hanging paintings in the street.

Actually we all arrived from here and there with blown up stuff, things of all sort, some took it as an attack.

Some marginal elements, manipulated by the SAC set fire [Service d'Action Civique, an association having existed from 1960 to 1981, often qualified as a parallel police with extremely violent behaviors, sometimes criminal, Ed].

Besides the fact, it made us think, we thought "alright it's an idea lab" but we need to put some order so our intensions are more legible.

Hence the idea to have in Grasse (because the MJC owned some housing, vast premises and that he had good human connection with the City Hall) an exhibition, and some sort of a conference, a general assembly to reach, if not a consensus, at least embryos of front lines between artist groups, including on an organizational level.

Establish a calendar and then take the time to speak to each other because under other circumstances when we used to see each other in action.

In the mean time, it slipped [the City Hall had arbitrarily removed the art of Jean-François Dubreuil, Ed.], and then some had come on vacation, it was during the month of August.

All this sort of torpedoed us as an organizing group because instead of spending time on the conference we had to spend time with the lawyers (we actually won in appeal against the City Hall).

Nevertheless, this gathering of artists certainly was the largest at the time. It was a creative utopia, generated by that time during which we felt that everything was possible. Later, we were caught up with, taken over, by life's necessities, by the merchant circuit.

Some, like the group Mass Moving [who took part in the gathering, Ed] burnt all its archives in a very purist momentum, to avoid being taken over.

However, the purely collective groups were a minority, there were often individualities who floated in them. […]

Partial transcript of an interview made in 2011 with Michel Cresp and Claude Rosticher, members of the Groupe Signe.
[...] During this gathering, the group of artists Mass Moving "cocoons" with a sort of spider thread approximately forty people during the meal taken outside.

The cocooning takes two hours, the matter was dangerous, it stunk of acetone.

We were eating on a large table in the shape of a "U," we were asked to strike a relatively comfortable pose because we were to remain almost immobile, I was at the end of the table, a neighbor was a bit scared, she was slightly claustrophobic.

What was incredible was that little by little, there was a sensorial loss although it was on a square were there was some hubbub. The sounds were fading the more the thickness of the matter grew, we could see a bit but the sounds were fading. We each found ourselves isolated by our table neighbors and we could no longer move. We were progressively confronted with ourselves.

The matter used was used in the Bordeaux area to protect the vines from freezing.

In the Mass Moving group there were artists but also engineers, finance people. That's why they were very efficient, it was a micro-society in itself.

In 1972, Mass Moving had created a gigantic cocoon in Venice, where it was officially representing Belgium, with the birth of thousands of butterflies, the artwork followed the cycle, from laying to etching. [...]

Partial transcription of an interview given in 2011 with Michel Cresp and Claude Rosticher, members of the Groupe Signe.
Action du groupe Mass Moving
Mass Moving (Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville) | photographie de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © Mass Moving | photographie : © DR | courtesy Alain Amiel
Mass Moving (Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville) | photographie de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © Mass Moving | photographie : © Michel Cresp | courtesy Michel Cresp
Mass Moving (Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville) | photographie de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © Mass Moving | photographie : © Michel Cresp | courtesy Michel Cresp
Mass Moving (Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville) | photographie de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © Mass Moving | photographie : © Michel Cresp | courtesy Michel Cresp
Mass Moving (Raphaël Opstaele, Bernard Delville) | photographie de la performance "Signal", 1973 | © Mass Moving | photographie : © Michel Cresp | courtesy Michel Cresp