THE AFFICHISTES


Arthur Aeschbacher, "bouton de gazon á cornac" - Collage/Karton, 28 x 21 cm, 1962

Décollages are also known as affiche (from the french verb "afficher", which means to post posters on a billboard). You will find hastags on the internet like #ripped #tornposter #rippedposters #urbanglitch or #plakatabriss.

 

Especially in the 50s and 60s of the 20th century it was very popular to tear down posters to use the scraps and billboards as material for décollages. If you want to know more, please click here.

 

There's a certain point, why am I so attracted by décollages. The Affichistes used public space as a playground, as an installation, as a spring of the beauty of daily life. They used décollages and the action of tearing down posters as a counter-reaction regarding the repression of beauty from our cities.

 

After WW2 also intact cities got destroyed in favour of car-friendly cities. The flaneurs got suppressed, boulevards got transferred into highways. I never heard about a relation between Samuel Beckett and the affichistes, but the following poem refers to the loss of the beauty of a city.

 

Samuel Beckett
ne manquez pas à Stuttgart
 
ne manquez pas à Stuttgart
la longue Rue Neckar
du néant là l'attrait
n'est plus ce qu'il était
tant le soupcon est fort
d'y être déjà et d'ores

Samuel Beckett
ne manquez pas à Stuttgart


Versäumen Sie in Stuttgart nicht,
sich die lange Neckarstraße anzusehen.
Der Anreiz des Nichts ist dort nicht mehr das,
was er einmal war, weil man eben
den sehr starken Verdacht hat,
längst mitten darin zu sein
[übersetzt von Elmar Tophoven]



The loss of beauty in cities like Stuttgart, Milan or Vienna culminated 1984 in a "manifest for the beauty" (Schönheitsmanifest), written by Jörg Mauthe and Günther Nenning.


The affichistes were mostly active in Paris and Rome. The inner circle of the affichistes comprises the artists

  • Jacques Villeglé
  • Raymond Hains
  • Mimmo Rotella
  • Francois Dufrêne
  • Wolf Vostell

We should also add the artists

  • albrecht/d.
  • Arthur Aeschbacher
  • Asger Jorn
  • Reinhold Koehler