Philippe Thomas


Philippe Thomas (1951-1995) began to work as an artist in the late 1970s. He cofounded the group Information Fiction Publicité (IFP), which he left in 1985 to create fictionnalisme, a fictional artistic movement. His work around heteronyms recalls that of Fernando Pessoa in the literary sphere: the person or the institution who acquires his pieces becomes their author and it is their name that integrates the registers, archives and ‘grey literature’ of the art world. It is thus impossible to find any art work made in Thomas’ name. Highly attuned to the spirit of his age in which enterprise and business came to be society’s dominant models, Thomas disappeared behind an agency that he opened in New York in 1987 under the name Readymades belong to everyone® (later translated into French), and devised the exhibition Feux Pâles (1990) at CAPC-musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux where the institution carried out a self-interrogation as to the possible fictions and histories of a museum. The Mamco in Geneva holds the archives of the agency, which closed in 1995.