Founded in 2004, Société Réaliste is a cooperative comprising Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy. Their work encompasses political design, experimental economics, territorial ergonomics and social engineering consultations that manifest through exhibitions, publications and conferences.
Société Réaliste poses the question ‘how is the relation between culture and the modern state visualised?’ as a critical analysis of the connections between architecture, history and utopia. As one of the group’s continued investigations averaged meaning of national mottos, flags and anthems stand in place of national representations and political power.
Mottopsy, a typographic mural on the ground level of Tenderpixel, collects the most common nouns occurring in national mottos. Société Réaliste uses the new typeface media police, generated by combining logotypes from international newspapers which include geographic references in their names. Like a Frankenstein’s monster, the pluralistic origins of media police is evident in its visually fractured construction.
In cooperation with computer engineer Frédéric Mauclère, Société Réaliste developed software to calculate the average musical notations from sets of MIDI audio files of all the national anthem of the United Nations’ 193 member states. Although the UN is an organisation born from a ‘union of nations’, it does not possess an anthem. The scores produced by the software were first performed in 2013 at the exhibition space tranzit.ro / Cluj with the assistance of the Agile Orchestra, conducted by Dalma Lidia Kovács and arranged by Cora Miron. In the lower gallery, documentation from the rehearsal of Universal Anthem is shown together with the original computer-generated scores for twelve instruments.
Universal Anthem is part of Société Réaliste’s research project Culture States, examining the continuous interlacement, divergence and manifold interdependence between political entities and cultural fields. Universal Anthem considers the state as a physical representation of cultural space and thus, a deconstructable one.
Société Réaliste is a Parisian cooperative created by Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy in June 2004.
Recent solo projects include ‘amal al-gam’, acb Gallery, Budapest HU (2014); Universal Anthem, Tranzit.ro, Cluj RO; A rough guide to Hell, P!, New York US; Thelema of Nations, Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris FR (all 2013); Empire, State, Building, MNAC, Bucharest RO and Ludwig Museum, Budapest HU; Monotopia, Galerie Michel Rein, Paris FR; Archiscriptons, Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, Zürich CH (all 2012); Empire, State, Building, Jeu de Paume, Paris FR; The city amidst the buildings, Akbank Sanat Art Center, Istanbul TR (both 2011) and Transitioners: London View, Hold & Freight, London UK (2009).In recent years they have contributed to group exhibitions in galleries and institutions including the New Museum, New York US; ZKM, Karlsruhe DE; CHB, Berlin DE; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris FR; MUSAC, León ES; Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest HU; Onomatopee, Eindhoven NL; MUMOK, Vienna AU; Spike Island, Bristol UK; Kunsthalle, Budapest HU; SFAI, San Francisco US; Kunstverein in Hamburg, DE and MAK, Vienna AT. They have participated in the 9th Shanghai Biennial, the 10th Lyon Biennial, the 11th Istanbul Biennial and the 2nd Athens Biennial.