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cordons bleus

Guy Bleus

Guy Bleus (b. October 23 1950, Hasselt, Belgium) is a Belgian artist.

The central theme of all of Bleus' artistic work is “Artministration”, being a critical analysis of "administration" and its degeneration into “bureaucracy”. At an administrative art performance in 1979, he was registered with an administrative number, issued by the Benelux Trademark Office, transforming his name from Guy Bleus into an official brand name under the registration number “42.292”. From then onwards this number has been used as an artistic pseudonym.

The materials used are old administrative papers (or parts of it) as basic material for artworks, such as old official administrative stamps, textile labels and perfumes “scent communication”. Especially scents are related to subjective memories. Everyone has his or her own semantic and olfactory interpretation while sniffing scents. The perforations in Bleus' collages refer to openings for a personal heuristic view of the observer. The photographs used are old family pictures, which are found at the attic of Bleus' parental home. They are used in collages, which are called “pêle-mêle”. It indicates a frame for holding several photographs, but has also different meanings, such as Medley, mixture, Disorder and confusion.

The objective is to confuse the administrative world with texts, scents and photographs, provoking people to reflect upon aberrations of administration.

In the “pêle-mêle’s” one can find allusions to and stamps of pre-as well as post-war periods, since ingredients of “administrative” envy and rivalry are present in periods of war and peace. Common stamps like return to sender are used, emphasizing a negative connotation of administration. Other stamps like strictly confidential are contradicting the public nature and transparency of a democratic administration.

The Administration Centre's mail art Archive includes works by and information about 5000 artists from 60 different countries: Small Press magazines, catalogues, posters, Rubberstamp art, Artistamps, copy art, artists' books, Fax art, etc.

In 1992 a selection of 650 Mail art works from the archive of The Administration Centre - 42.292 was exhibited at the P.T.T. Museum in The Hague.

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