New Permanent Installation
Plonk & Replonk – Bébert
Cabinet of Curiosities

On View
FIAF Haskell Library

In honor of its 125th anniversary, FIAF has commissioned a new, permanent installation by the Swiss artist collective Plonk & Replonk – Bébert. Using historical artifacts, humorously re-imagined, this unique exhibition takes visitors on a journey through FIAF’s history, highlighting the fascinating people, such as Marcel Duchamp, objects, and events in its evolution. Cabinet of Curiosities, marking the collective’s U.S. premiere, features original works created by the artists for the occasion and commemorates FIAF’s important role in New York’s cultural landscape and beyond.

Artist Statement

Lux, Frétillements, et Fariboles

Lux, like the lights of the encyclopedists in the 18th century, frenzy (frétillements) and farce (fariboles) to echo the luminous, singular universe of Marcel Duchamp in the 20th century. At the invitation of FIAF, Plonk & Replonk – Bébert cross the Atlantic and offer a solid connection between the two centuries. Wind and smiles in the sails. Their cargo: a suitcase of ideas, objects, and images. In their pockets: an instruction manual with drawers, grit to crush, and hairs to scratch the varnish.

About the Collective

Plonk & Replonk - Bébert

The Swiss artist collective Plonk & Replonk was founded at the end of the last century. It was conceived as an image factory and an idea mill, producing books, postcards, extravagant objects, and various graphic works.

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    • Plonk & Replonk – Bébert (Hubert Froidevaux) now continues this editorial work on all types of media. The collective continues to adjust its composition according to the scale and specificity of each project, sometimes collaborating with Helena Ferreira. Their productions always draw their inspiration from the spoken and unspoken sources of derision and satire. In recent years, Signe Productions (Claude Stadelmann) has joined forces with the collective. Together, they conceive and produce artistic works for exhibitions, cabinets of curiosities, and audiovisual experiences in the immeasurable universe of the absurd.

      The collective uses absurd humor to reimagine images and histories, often ones accepted by the historical and cultural cannon. Working with both images and three-dimensional art objects, the artists use word play and subtle alteration to reinvent meanings. Through a pairing of unlikely historical photographs, postcards, captions, and drawings, they propose whimsical new interpretations of accepted, at times banal, images and objects.

      Plonk & Replonk – Bébert has presented its work in numerous museums and cultural centers in France and Switzerland. Their recent projects include a large retrospective exhibition, first presented at La Saline Royale d’Arc et Senans in France in 2021 and in Madagascar in 2023 as part of the festival Explosion du rire. In 2019-20, the exhibition The Universe Upside Down used objects from the permanent collection of the Musée des Confluences in Lyon to create a series of humorous collages.