After Marcel Duchamp

by Jessica Castex

Excerpt from the catalogue “Co-workers, the network as artist.” Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2015.

The name of this artist collective and its use as a logo, echoes the transversal aspect of their practice and the plurality of their field of action. “Nøne Futbol Club” associates three terms with Scandinavian (the letter “ø”), Spanish (Fútbol) and English (club) origins. The letter “ø” which is pronounced like a long French “e”, and which modifies the English word “none”, is also the mathematical symbol for an empty set.

Works by this collective embody the metaphor of an artistic process integrating references to games, popular culture, and hacking. The duet, who has been artists and graphic designers for several years now, has created a language that has been enriched by the vocabulary of these two fields. Their performances, sculptures, and installations all claim a rebel attitude mainly based on humour, for instance in the video installation Work nº 075: Ici c’est Paris (2012), a series of portraits showing a young generation ready for battle, letting white smoke out of their nostrils, like bulls in an arena.

The phrases they collect in the urban space sound like slogans. In Work nº 054: Keep warm burnout the rich (2011), these words, which were a graffiti made during the 2008 riots in Athens, become a branding iron. A playful vocabulary is added to the struggle one: for instance the artists disassemble a police car only to reassemble it backwards (Work nº 911: All Cars Are Beautiful, 2013).
They play with codes from mass culture by appropriating the vocabulary of advertising, reality shows, science-fiction films as well as the use of social networks. By putting society under the scrutiny of their ferocious humour, they mock celebrities (Liza Minnelli, Donatella Versace) abusing plastic surgery and bodybuilders obsessed with modelling their body. Thus, in Work nº 076: Stay hungry (2013), Mister Universe’s muscles made of caramel melt under the heat of the exhibition lighting.

Work nº 2B: La Tonsure (after Marcel Duchamp) (2015) experiments with the infiltration of art in the football world. After noticing that haircuts where one of the few areas of freedom left to football players, the artists asked a former player from the French national team, Djibril Cissé, to reproduce the famous “Tonsure” by Marcel Duchamp, immortalised by Man Ray. Videos and photographs of Cissé displaying this new haircut circulated on the active networks of the football sphere. Nøne Futbol Club attempts here to understand the impact of an archetype image of modernity, Man Ray’s image, on the supporters. The project also makes use of this visual representation for the creation of objects, in order to question the notion of aesthetics in advertising.

Idiots, pundits?

by Nicolas Rosette

Text published in the critical monitoring program of the Salon de Montrouge artists, 2013.

Nøne Futbol Club is a duo that is capable of mobilizing as many accomplices as necessary to make their works and performances. The playful component is inseparable from their creative process which tackles the world like a playground for the expression of an art whose nature has continually bordered on the cellophane of the white cube and the great palaces must take the risk of being a mass distribution product.

The recursive principle in their work is reversal. It is not about diverting elements from pop culture(or popular culture, the term changing depending on whether this culture comes to us from one side or the other of the Atlantic Ocean) but of a reversal whose final address is always popular culture. A double inversion, whose process of revelation reflects back to us as in a mirror the possible destiny of an art world which has become less subtle than the current popular media cultures; whose practices of critical and jubilatory diversions are the foundation. Would the Nøne Futbol Club be applying to contemporary art what digital cultures have subjected Chuck Norris, the pope and Darth Vador to?

If their work can evoke that of the surrealists (for the crazy aspect) and the situationists (by the use of mass media culture) it is not through a specific desire for lineage.
In their performance Work nº 096: just married where they availed of a Parisian bus stopping to take on passengers to stick a “just married” placard on the back with a half-dozen saucepans, it is not as much the choice of elements (bus, Paris, idealized image ironmonger on marriage, performance) than the playful hacking of the urban ordinary that is at work in Work nº 078: Ram-raid when they attack the exhibition space intended to host them using a car as a battering ram. If this performance can seem to fit into a tradition, the intention here is however for a mise en abyme: who is robbing what, ultimately?

The most significant series of works and the most literal of the reversal that the artists are operating is undoubtedly the Renault cars of the 1970s and 1980s of which each piece of the body and interior work has been meticulously turned over, presenting to the exterior what should be in the interior. Heckling our perceptions and our feelings about the inside/outside, the series attacks popular representations of the car where the taste for mechanics, the morbidity of accidents, the car as a receptacle for rebellion and the fascination of the object that has become sculptural are combined. Responding as much to cynical production criteria of works by the diversion of pop icons as to a subtle desire to confront ourselves with our cultural depictions, these automobile sculptures are both seductive and iconoclast; like their creators.
Nøne Futbol Club
For full portfolio and résumé, please email contact(at)nonefutbolclub(dot)com