Jean-François OctaveUne Vie (ne rien oublier)
- Work in progress
New residency at the BPS22: Jean-François Octave’s virtual residency on the museum’s website. For decades, JFO has been a tireless author of fanzines, personal diaries, and other digital diaries, overlapping different influences and techniques. Now he is squatting on the museum's website, presenting his archives and works in progress.
For Jean-François Octave, life is a permanent repository that we can draw on rather than deplete, where we can take hold of things rather than be swept away by its tide. JFO has compiled his daily chronicles since the early 1970s, from his teenage diaries to small spiral-bound notebooks, taking in more substantial exercise books on the way, mixing images (paintings, drawings, photos, collages, etc.) and text in which the letters too are first and foremost drawings.
Nowadays, since the early 2000s, digital drawings and written entries occupy the virtual pages of an electronic diary for regular weekly publication. To date it amounts to more than 5,000 pages across more than 700 editions, a huge number
of trials and errors and several gigabytes of memory. This personal newspaper posts a combination of the artist’s old works and recurring preoccupations. Daniel Vander Gucht, Professor of Sociology (ULB) and creator of La Lettre Volée publications, writes “Part personal diary, part people revelations, and part socio-political and poetical reflection, Jean-François Octave, proponent of appropriation art and fan of Jean-Luc Godard, weaves a narrative at the speed of snapshots to the frontiers of Pop Art, ideas and literature in his combinations of photos, painting and other techniques.”
Eternal child of his time, he has always supported the (epi)phenomena of the present moment, whatever they might be. Punk confirmed one of his early intuitions: there is no hierarchy among things; everything is of equal merit; everything is worthy of attention; everything can be connected. So personal anecdotes can be mixed with great history; the stalest pop culture clichés with works of art; the world’s great characters from any historical era with nameless people met while travelling around the globe; personal emotions with abstract reflections; literature with all para-literature; high Style with common writing, and so on.
The 700 editions of JFO’s diary can now be accessed via the internet. And because the artist has no intention of stopping, as part of his virtual residence he has been invited to add a new entry to his electronic diary every week. An exceptional occasion to share his work in constant evolution, if not in constant revolution.
See Jean-François Octave’s latest 60 editions below and click here to access his 700 unabridged diaries.