Décollage as a visual technique is the method whereby parts of glued-on posters are detached and removed, whereby the underlying layers appear and become part of the new image. Decollage has a strong affinity with dismantling and in this sense forms the reverse of collage.
The French word “décollage” translates into English literally as “take-off” or “to become unglued” or “to become unstuck”. Examples of décollage include etrécissements and cut-up technique. A similar technique is the lacerated poster, a poster in which one has been placed over another or others, and the top poster or posters have been ripped, revealing to a greater or lesser degree the poster or posters underneath.
Among the first experimenters of this technique were Mimmo Rotella, Wolf Vostell, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Jacques Villeglé. However, there are conflicting opinions on who was really the first to use it. The dualism is between the two cornerstones of this ” neo Dada ” experimentation, Rotella and Hains.
It represents the protest against a social situation that now “survives” amidst the false myths of consumerism after the Second World War. Like Fontana’s cuts, such as combustion of Burri, like the Artist’s Shit of Piero Manzoni, Rotella uses décollage to ensure an artistic and cultural communities of the second half of the 900, a further conceptual study, to discover art classical with a simple systematic, repetitive, lacerating, explanatory action.
Since 1949, the décollage in France was used by Raymond Hains, Jacques de la Villeglé and from 1957 by François Dufrêne; in 1960 they were among the founding members of the Nouveau Réalisme. Since the early 1950s, the technique has also been practiced by Mimmo Rotella and Wolf Vostell. Furthermore, this technique was used in a modified form by Robert Rauschenberg, who blurred photographs and painted over pictures and texts; César and John Chamberlain pressed together all kinds of metal consumer goods.
Another form of décollage is the Dé-coll / age by Wolf Vostell, who is concerned not only with destroying, but also with making it visible, in the sense of blurring and other forms such as wiping, decoloring, doubling, distorting, blurring and overprinting, went.
Wolf Vostell found the word “décollage” on the front page of Le Figaro in Paris on September 6, 1954, which was used in connection with a Lockheed Super Constellation crashing into the Shannon. He transferred the term to his poster breaks and happenings. In 1958 Wolf Vostell changed the spelling to Dé-coll / age. Dé-coll / agebecame a design principle and a comprehensive concept of art for Wolf Vostell. The Dé-coll / age des Happenings aims at a consciousness-critical breakdown of absurd environmental conditions that are pressing people, for example to refer to everyday processes, such as car traffic. In the dé-coll / age happenings of the early 1960s, materials were destroyed in uselessly critical and provocative dismantling treatment.
Practitioners of décollage
An important practitioner of décollage was Wolf Vostell. Wolf Vostell noticed the word “décollage” in Le Figaro on 6 September 1954, where it was used to describe the simultaneous take-off and crash of an aeroplane. He appropriated the term to signify an aesthetic philosophy, applied also to the creation of live performances, Vostell’s working concept of décollage, was the Dé-coll/age and begun in 1954, is as a visual force that breaks down outworn values and replaces them with thinking as a function distanced from media. He also called his Happenings Dé-coll/age-Happening.
The most celebrated artists of the décollage technique in France, especially of the lacerated poster, are François Dufrene, Jacques Villeglé, Mimmo Rotella and Raymond Hains. Raymond Hains used the lacerated poster as an artistic intervention that sought to critique the newly emerged advertising technique of large-scale advertisements. In effect his decollage destroys the advertisement, but leaves its remnants on view for the public to contemplate.
Often these artists worked collaboratively and it was their intention to present their artworks in the city of Paris anonymously. These four artists were part of a larger group in the 1960s called Nouveau Réalisme (New realism), Paris’ answer to the American Pop Art movement. This was a mostly Paris-based group (which included Yves Klein, Christo and Burhan Dogancay and was created with the help of critic Pierre Restany), although Rotella was Italian and moved back to Italy shortly after the group was formed. Some early practitioners sought to extract the defaced poster from its original context and to take it into areas of poetry, photography, or painting.
Lacerated posters are also closely related to Richard Genovese’s practice of excavations. Contemporary artists employing similar décollage techniques are Mark Bradford, Michael Viviani and Brian Dettmer, who employs a novel method of decollage by removing material from books, leaving behind select images and text to form sculptural collages. Also there is Fizz Fieldgrass, an English artist, who uses digitally enhanced photographic images, overlaid by duplication on either Japanese Conservation Grade or fine Paper Mulberry, torn and rolled back to reveal other layers generating the three-dimensional image.
Décollage is now commonly used in the French language in regard to aviation (as when an aeroplane lifts off the ground). More recently the term has been used in space flight; the web page for ESA indicates its use equivalent to “We have lift-off!” at a NASA launch center.
Déchirage (‘to tear’) is an artistic style that distresses paper to create a three-dimensional patchwork. It is a form of décollage, taking the original image apart physically through incision, parting and peeling away. Romare Bearden (b. 1911 – d. 1988) the African American collage artist used déchirage as an important element of his abstract expressionist paintings. The first public display of “Photographic” Déchirage (the tearing of layers of digital photographs to create a distinctive three-dimensional image) was at the Art of Giving exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in 2010.
It can be argued that the depliage is a form of décollage, as it is made by initially removing the staples from a staple-bound magazine.
Adherents of the style
An influential follower of decollage was Wolf Fostel. He found the word “décollage” in the issue of the Figaro newspaper of September 6, 1954, where it was used to describe a plane crash on take-off [to 1]. The artist decided to use the term to refer to aesthetic philosophy, including the one used to create performances. In Fostel’s version, the word was divided into parts: “Dé-coll / age” and defined visual power that destroys worn-out values and replaces them with thinking as a function remote from the wearer. Fostel called his happenings “Dé-coll / age-happenings” .
The best-known French artists dekollazha used technique, particularly torn poster are Francois Dufresne (fr. François Dufrene), Jacques Villegle (fr. Jacques Villeglé), Mimmo Rotella and Raymond Enc (fr. Raymond Hains). Raymond Ens used the torn poster technique as an art intervention aimed at criticizing shortly before this large-scale advertisement. In fact, his decollage destroyed advertising, but left it for the public to contemplate.
These artists often worked together and intended to anonymously present their work in Paris. They were part of a large group in the 1960s called Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism), a Parisian response to the American pop art movement. Mostly the group consisted of paridans (including Yves Klein, Kristo and Burhan Dogankai, and the critic Pierre Restany helped with the creation), but, for example, Rotella was Italian and returned to Italy shortly after the formation of the group. Some of the first adherents of technology tried to transfer the decollated poster from its original context to the field of poetry, photography or painting.
The torn poster technique is also closely related to Richard Genovese’s Excavation Collage technique. Among contemporary artists using a similar decollage technique are Marc Bradford, Michael Viviani and Brian Dettmer, who use the new decollage method by removing some of the material from books, leaving selected images and thus creating a sculptural collage. The English artist Fitz Fieldgrass uses photographs processed in a graphic editor, overlaid with paper, which he then tears and unscrews to open the lower layers and create a three-dimensional image.