Jean-Jacques Lebel

*1936. Lives and works in Paris, France.

Jean-Jacques Lebel is one of today’s most subversive artists whose moral and ideological vigilance is one of the characteristics of his lifestyle that has privileged the collective, transcultural and libertarian action. In the mid-1960s he translated and compiled for the first time in French an anthology of texts of his friends, the poets of the Beat Generation: William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso... Since 1962, he has conceived and participated in numerous actions with Claes Oldenburg, Allan Kaprow, then Tetsumi Kudo, Erró, Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Robert Filliou and Ben within the framework of the Festival de La Libre Expression which he founded in 1964. 

In 1966 Jean-Jacques Lebel published his first illustrated critical essay in French on the art of the happening and henceforth continues his direct poetry actions in parallel to his pictorial and political activities. His visual work inspires artists of the early 21st century who look back towards the rebellious 1960s. Jean-Jacques Lebel creates remarkable installations for various museums such as Le Monument à Félix Guattari (1994) at the Pompidou Centre, Le Reliquaire pour un culte de Vénus (2001) in 28 European museums or the video installation Les Avatars de Vénus (2008) at ZKM in Karlsruhe. In 2009, he conceived the exhibition, Soulèvements at La Maison Rouge that leads to the present film by Danielle Schirman.

LEBEL Art du Montrage

L'art du mont(r)age de Jean-Jacques Lebel / France / 2009 / 148’ / 16:9

In 2009, La Maison Rouge presented an exhibition of a new kind: Soulèvements (Uprisings) – dedicated to Jean-Jacques Lebel and curated by Jean de Loisy. A giant and protean installation tackling the principal axis of the visual, poetic and political activities of this extraordinary artist, a polyglot and practitioner of rhizome. Directed by Danielle Schirman and starring congenial friends, the film witnesses of an undertaking that is rare due to its interdisciplinarity and libertarian request.