Collection FMRA

The FMRA collection houses over 11,000 ephemera, multiples and artists’ books. The collection includes books, magazines, posters, flyers, stickers, cassettes, flyers, postcards, vinyl, CDs, DVDs, web pages, emails, etc., from the 1960s to the present day. Organized according to simple categories, this collection naturally reveals sub-sets and offers cross-readings of the different fields of creation: graphic design, sound and literary creation, magazines, poetry, etc.

Artist publishing thrives on innovative artistic practices that take unusual forms: digital or offset prints, sound, digital or videotapes, engravings, vinyl, poor multiples, photographs, image quotations, photocopies and other industrial or digital objects… It’s difficult for some to consider these forms as original works, i.e. not reproductions of a pre-existing work - yet they are indeed art. It was to meet the need for a research fund on this subject that the cneai = created the FMRA collection when it opened in 1997.


The collection instinctively has its roots in the 1960s, when making art in published form meant breaking free from political and economic boundaries. These media works possess a potential for reproduction that heralds the sharing of artistic authority with their recipients, a mutualization of copyright. It’s also a striking paradox that the more open, free and unlimited the edition, the more rapidly it becomes impossible to find. Its distribution channels are unmarked and resistant to appropriation, playing the role of a parallel art history.


More than 2,500 artists are represented in this collection, including :
Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Jean-François Bory, Jean-Baptiste Bruant, James Lee Byars, Ulises Carriòn, Henri Chopin, Guy de Cointet, Gérard Collin-Thiébaut, Isabelle Cornaro, Jan Dibbets, DONUTS, Peter Downsbrough, Céline Duval, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Robert Filliou, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Camille Henrot, Will Holder, Karl Holmqvist, Douglas Huebler, Ben Kinmont, Martin Kippenberger, Pierre Leguillon, Christian Marclay, Paul McCarthy, László Moholy-Nagy, Nam June Paik, Carsten Nicolai, Richard Nonas, Roman Ondàk, Seth Price, Michael S. Riedel, Allen Ruppersberg, Claude Rutault, Yann Sérandour, David Shrigley, Ernest T., Valie Export, etc., sometimes through their most secret and committed work.
The furniture OBU / Original Bipolar Unit accompanies the FMRA. Presentation here > obu-catalogue.pdf.


So, by opening an archive box, visitors can discover :
Dora Garcia’s libelle N°7 “Real Artists Don’t Have Teeth”, a multiple consisting of a vinyl and a poster contained in an envelope; “Eye of the Beholder”, an embroidered coat of arms of General Idea from 1989; a card game by Claude Closky, “Mudam playing cards”, made in 2005; a vinyl by Allan Kaprow, entitled “How to make a Happening”, dated 1966; a book by Yona Friedman, “L’habitat c’est l’affaire de tous : mais particulièrement la vôtre”, published in 1977.


Sylvie Boulanger : “By entering a collection, ephemera acquire the status of a work of art. It’s not a question of a gallery or a library, nor of a museum-type collection, but of a practice: collecting the results of independent publishing can be placed on the side of experimental practice. As Godard once said, “A free and independent producer is on the side of the artists” “.