La pub vidéo anthologie, 1981

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In 1981, Jean Dupuy brought together around fifteen artistes to work on a collective video project entitled La Pub Vidéo Anthologie [Advertising Video Anthology]. The first seconds hammer out the word “antipub” (anti-ad) in the form of a slogan, announcing the tape’s very principle: appropriating the mechanisms of advertising in order to disrupt them. With a concept recalling Jean Dupuy’s previous collective videos, the artists are called on to each produce very short sequences that are similar to the average length of a television spot. For some artists, the reference to the advertising world is clear: this is particularly the case for Jacques Monory, who infuses his sequence with honey-toned rhetoric – “For me, there’s only one service: M. M, perfect company, M, total satisfaction, M for ideal, you need M” – all set to a violent series of images of car accidents. For other artists, it is the visual efficiency of ads, guided by an imperative of immediate seduction that seems to fuel the intervention. Much more so than in the previous collective videos by Jean Dupuy, the propositions are thus oriented towards absurd gags, wordplay, or a quasi-burlesque tendency to use special effects.

The ghost of Marcel Duchamp is once again manifest here by a certain taste for puns, used by Patrice Lerochereuil, Charles Dreyfus, and Jean Dupuy himself (“The sixteenth arrondissement of Paris, XVI; I live on Rue Michel-Ange, Paris Sistine”). A joyful irreverence traverses this collective work, which Robert Filliou’s proposition possibly best summarises: after having raised a glass several times with a television set displaying his own image, he smashes a cream tart onto the screen.


Philippe Bettinelli

Translated by Anna Knight