Manystuff: Could you please present yourself and your activities?
Antoine Lefebvre (La Bibliothèque Fantastique): My name is Antoine Lefebvre, and I’m a artist-publisher and a Phd candidate in fine arts at the Sorbonne. I started the project called La Bibliothèque Fantastique in 2009. La Bibliothèque Fantastique is an artist’s book virtual publisher. Our books are free and downloadable from the internet so that you can print them at home. Most of our books are exclusive productions. The purpose of LBF is to offer a view on books expressed by books themselves and to offer a place for genuine artist speech. Its works are made of excerpts of other works, with pages, sentences and words met in a stroke of good fortune. As the books are downloadable on the website, what I sell in a fair like Pa/per view has more to do with a printing service.
Manystuff: In your opinion, what do you think is the role of an independent publishing house? Do you feel having responsibilities and a duty? what’s your commitment in your activity?
Antoine Lefebvre (La Bibliothèque Fantastique): I don’t think I have any role, nor any responsibilities or duties. I apprehend my work like an artist. The only reason why I do it is because I need to do it and don’t really have a choice. However, as I have to theorize over my own work for my phd, I have very strong beliefs that I intend to communicate through my work. For example, the economic part of my work is very important to me, I think that every artist should think about the condition in which he brings new objects to the world, just like Douglas Huebler did, by refusing to create objects. Also, every book I make is protected by the Free art license, because copyright is not in the interest of the artists.
Manystuff: Could you please introduce one, or more, of your upcoming project you are now working on?
Antoine Lefebvre (La Bibliothèque Fantastique): The work that we started with Jérémie Bennequin is a long term experience, his artistic approach is to erase the work of Marcel Proust, A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time). To the rhythm of a daily page, a necessary constraint, he erases with an ink rubber, a series of seven volumes of the novel in the white collection of Gallimard. For La Bibliothèque Fantastique, he wanted to damage the poem of Stéphane Mallarmé, Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard (A throw of the dice will never abolish chance). He then had to choose a way that would fit with Mallarmé’s writing, just like erasing Proust with an ink rubber makes sense for him. The result is a performance in which Bennequin throws a dice that determines which syllable will be erased. As a partner, I stand in front of a computer and act directly on the book erasing the syllable corresponding to the number on the dice. The performance ends at the end of the poem, the book is then printed and presented to the audience. The next performance will use the damaged poem from the previous performance. The series will end when there will be only five syllables or less, because there will be at that time a risk that he throws the dice for nothing.