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Fred Forest: "I got a 150 cm2 white insert in the newspaper"
Fred Forest, October 28, 2000, in Drouot, Paris, during the first world sale of a website. PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP

"This crazy adventure came with The world started on the 27th of September 1970 and was finalized on the 12th of January 1972. During these long months, I devoted myself to bring about, under the title of art, a singular project: to get from the newspaper a white insert of 14.5 cm x 10.2 cm, that is 150 cm2 , which would be offered to its readers as a surface of free expression.

This intention is based on an art of participation which, two years later, was concretized by the formation of the Collective of Sociological Art.

It took me sixteen months to finally see my white space, a work that I've titled Space media, concretize in the pages of the World !

I had thrown my devil at the time on "A", where an advertisement was reserved for luxury products at the bottom of the page. Unfortunately, even though I had the funding to retain it, I learned that this space was booked almost a year in advance. And since I did not have the beginning of a penny, I had to regret to retreat to the page dedicated to the arts.

Cursed project

From now on, my hopes of making my plans come to an end rested on the art critic who was responsible for them. He was burying my successive files in his drawers and I never heard any more about them.

I went in search of a budget by sending myself to the National Center of Plastic Arts, where I was received by a young civil servant. My request for funding for a media intervention seemed rather incongruous for him to walk me to the door with the views that we owe to a big patient.

Read also Beaubourg exposes Fred Forest, his best enemy

In despair of cause, I speak with my cursed project to the service of the advertising of the World. The reception was collective and enthusiastic! My file finally climbs the floors of the old building in the rue des Italiens to land on the desk of the administrative director, Jacques Sauvageot. The latter, like a big accomplice tomcat, pushed me through the door between the office of the director, Jacques Fauvet. In two phases, the case was settled. Just one last conflict between Jacques Sauvageot and the editor-in-chief who preached The world is a serious newspaper that can not indulge in such fantasies.

 € œThe media spaceâ € is well there! AT"

I had to once again prove my imagination by starting Jacques Paoli, who had a broadcast on Europe n ° 1, getting him the vernissage of Space media, Work exhibited in a newspaper, take place simultaneously on a radio! The participation of Europe n ° 1 has done away with as magic all the outstanding problemsâ € |

On January 12, at 1 pm, time of the newsstand, I go to buy The world. I open it and look for the page of the arts. The Space media is there!

I do not believe my eyesâ € |

In the following days, more than 900 entries land in my mailbox. Unexpected flow that redoubles the suspicion of the concierge in my mind. The French press is drifting, the international press is talking about it, research institutes are contacting me. Without going through the institutional networks, overnight, I veiled as a recognized artist. AT"

Fred Forest, 86 years old, is a pioneer artist of the participative art.

Our series â € œThe Worldâ € and Iâ €

On the occasion of 75 years of daily life, French or foreign personalities evoke the relationship they have with the newspaper.

  • Cécile Duflot
  • Vassilis Alexakis
  • Jean-François Rial
  • Bernard Poignant
  • Mokhtar Trifi
  • Martin Hirsch
  • François Holland
  • Baptiste Beaulieu
  • Denis McShane
  • Aristide Barraud
  • Raffaello De Ruggieri
  • Eva Joly
  • Yannick Haenel
  • Denis Kessler
See you at the 2019 World Festival on the theme "Imagine"!

The drafting of the World offers you, from 4th to 6th October in Paris, a selection of debates, shows and meetings with a hundred personalities, including the female author of Vaginal Monologues Eve Ensler, the writer Russell Banks, the essayist Belinda Cannone, the economist Laurence Boone, the comedian Fary … With thirty debates in connection with the news © ("Putin the Inger", "Indignados de tous pays!" …) or on societal topics: "Tomorrow, what meat will we eat? "Or" Drag, voguing, the queer on the front of the stage "…

Not to mention the "Night of the Imagination", the participatory dance session at Opera Bastille, the "false trial" chaired by Renaud Van Ruymbeke, and the collective meditation session led by the philosopher Fabrice Midal and the violinist Anna Göckel.

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