A look back at 10 years of vision and unparalleled energy: in the 1980s FRIGO is one of the most emblematic of Europe’s alternative culture groups. And Lyon is the hub of this artistic effervescence.
The FRIGO Collective get their name from the cold room of the former Lyon cheese factory that hosted their activities in the 1980s. For 10 years, FRIGO boasted an intense artistic production across all fields: free radio (Bellevue 95.8), music, scenography, graphic design, installation and performance art, exhibitions, photography...
FRIGO exhibited a hundred cubic metres of water at the Centre Pompidou, succeeded in closing the Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris) following a performance, launched a pirate TV station, refashioned TF1’s TV studios, wrote an obituary for the Théâtre National Populaire, rolled a stone weighing five tonnes to India, invited Michael Nyman to perform a private concert on-site; filmed Hermann Nitsch and Paul McCarthy, enjoyed Potlatch in Hamburg, and attended Documenta 8 and Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. The collective ceased their activity in about 1989, around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the inauguration of the « Magiciens de la terre » exhibition in Paris.
A laboratory embracing a plurality of forms and disciplines, FRIGO was also at the origin of a very active international network bringing together visual artists, choreographers, poets, actors, writers and musicians, including ORLAN, Régine Chopinot, Benni Efrat, Dieter Appelt, Fabrizio Plessi, Nigel Rolfe, Michael Nyman, Rachid Taha, Eva Ionesco, Dominique Bagouet, Jean-Paul Delore...
It today serves as a remarkable audio-visual database or archive, housing a wealth of visual and audio information from this period.
Musée d'art contemporain
FRIGO is the shared name of a place, a concept and a collective of artists.
Created in Lyon in a working-class district of the city, in the early 1980s, the FRIGO galaxy was made up of several interconnecting structures operating in the same place, a disused cheese factory located on the rue Saint Michel à la Guillotière and in the adjacent ‘factory boss’s house’.
In the basement, an experimental video gallery, sound studio and rehearsal studio could be found. On the first floor were a secretary’s office, a shared work space and a concert room, and on the upper floor a studio apartment was used to house visiting artists. In the adjacent house, the headquarters of Radio Bellevue 95.8 were located.
The founding group: Gérard Bourgey, Gérard Couty, Alain Garlan, soon joined by Mike Hentz, Charles Picq and then Rotraut Pape, Jacques Bigot, Christian Vanderborght
Accompanied yesterday and today by: Thomas Balestrieri, Serge Boissat, Jacques Bigot, Philippe Dibilio, Cécile Dumas, Robert Lapassade, Marc Moget, Michel Piet, Christian Vanderborght, Marie-Christine Vernay, Philippe Vorburger, Anne We.
The FRIGO motto: be creative, active and economically independent!
laboratory of a wide variety of artistic forms of expression, FRIGO was a witness to technological progress, such as the move away from print publishing and film photography to digital virtuality and then global digitization. Its members made use of the small-format tools of the digital revolution in order to create a new, transdisciplinary, collective, protean, multimedia art. They explored the possibilities offered by video for art, reports, features, installations, scenography, magazines, films, books and even objets d’art.
First as pirates for Media Mystik, then as free entrepreneurs, they took over the free spaces offered by the radio and television waves. Urban alchemists, they combined old-school theatre with choreographic innovation, punk revolt, art history, the audacity of pop and rock music…. They experimented with unusual assemblages, bringing together old-school techniques, ancient dogma, modern social and political thought, and the chaos of contemporary progress.
6 July 1981: under the impetus of Jean-Claude Chuzeville, Radio BELLEVUE, FRIGO’s ‘free, rock and cultural’ pirate radio station is aired, attracting up to 20,000 listeners. Radio Bellevue can be considered as FRIGO’s ’sound sculpture’.
For a time, Lyon becomes the rock capital of France, with concerts taking place all over the city, fusing the visual arts and music.
Informations supplémentaire programmation MAC
360° views of the exhibition
Dossier de presse Frigo Generation 78/90
Date created: 07/07/2020
Changed date: 05/05/2023
Poids : 2,4 Mo