Website: Les Arts Décoratifs – Publicité
Location: 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Dates: October 10 2012 – March 31 2013
Admission price: 9.50/8.00 euros
In 1994, Eric Morand, co-founder of the F Communications techno label with DJ Laurent Garnier, declared, “We give a French touch to house music.” The term “French Touch” came to mean the French movement in electronic music forged by Air, Daft Punk, Cassius and other groups. And with its huge success on the international scene, “French Touch” soon encapsulated all the visual artists involved in this music. Never before in France had graphic design and music been closer than they were from the early 90s to the early 2000s.
In an exhibition designed by the 1024 collective, Les Arts Décoratifs is retracing this joint venture with several hundred flyers, disk jackets and videos.
This extraordinary synergy between music and graphic design stemmed from the very nature of electronic music and the shared attitude of artists completely rejecting the star system and its marketing codes.
In the early 1990s, independent record labels emerged unnoticed by the majors, and a wave of graphic design studios sprang up outside the realm of the advertising agencies.
Graphic designers, record labels and musicians forged strong creative bonds: H5 with the Solid and Pamplemousse labels, Restez Vivants ! with Artefact then with Yellow Production, Tom Kan with Pro-Zak Trax, M/M with the group The Micronauts, Serge Nicolas with Benjamin Diamond, Sylvia Tournerie with Bosco and Alex Courtès with Cassius.
Image credits left to right: La Shampouineuse, 1994 – 2002, Flyer, © DR / Marie de Crecy, Etienne de Crecy, Le patron est devenu fou, 1997, Solid, Clip, © DR / M/M, eDEN #5, n° mars – avril 1993, Fanzine, © DR.