In 1871, at the Hôtel des Étrangers, in the Latin Quarter, at the time of the Paris Commune (in which several of them took part), a dozen of the greatest rebel poets, including Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Charles Cros, Germain Nouveau and André Gill, came together for a common project, co-written and designed, out of gauge and, in more than one respect, subversive: the Album Zutique. It was one of the first and most important collective works to herald the modern spirit in Europe.
In the course of the twentieth century, some artists and poets went even further than others in their commitment to intersubjective experimentation and cooperative working methods. To begin with, the Dadaists and Surrealists: the Cadavres Exquis first written and then drawn collectively from 1922 onwards according to the principle of intuitive or 'automatic' collaboration is the most striking example. It is this explosive mixture of the inventions of professional artists and writers with those of "citizens from elsewhere" that provided one of the most disruptive and liberating contributions of "group eros".
This exhibition provides evidence that philosophers, writers, musicians, filmmakers - across all genres - have also produced experimental collective works which, by their very singularity, challenge and question the scale of 'market values' and dominant aesthetic codes.