stephan graff

Dernières Nouvelles d Alsace Snashing at the Molodoï 212 000 issues 01|11|2002

Reduce TVs, fax machines, washmashines into pieces so that an artist can do something with the debris, which is then set aside for the participants who will be chosen this evening, during the first of the three parts of the Smashing Party, which takes place at the Molodoï...

The concept of the Smashing Party which is held this evening in Strasbourg can be described in two words: destruction and creation. “The idea is to give to the participants the chance to get rid of their negative energy by destroying everyday life objects: TVs, telephones, fax machines, printers, and PCs to create artwork with what is left,” explains Hubert Pichot (32) creator of the association organizing the event: Général H Productions.

“Ecole des Fans” Version Trash:
The progress of this post modern educational game event is taking place in techno style. This evening at 9 PM, the participants will get an invitation ticket at the door. Then 10 “happy few” will be drawn, who will go, one by one, to the destroying area. At this point the “l'école des fans trash will start in our own fashion,” says Hubert Pichot, “I’m taking a few minutes to feel the person out, to get to know what she wants to do, TVs and vacuum cleaners are noticeably very much appreciated. And so we can decide what tool to give them.”
That speech is filmed and projected in the hall on several screens. The participant receives his equipment: “a mic that produces Darth Vador’s voice,” says Hubert, a protection suit, gloves, security shoes, glasses, and a helmet.
Ready to go the destroyer and accompanied by a member of the staff, the selected participant gets to the defined zone built with wooden boards and plexiglass windows. Armed with a hammer or a baseball bat he destroys the object of his choice. The whole thing unfolds with music. “Then the moment comes when we have to stop the people in order to avoid there only being dust left,” says Stéphan Graff, who takes the debris to make an original artpiece. The concept of the Smashing Party, inspired from Pop Art, struck the artist, born in Strasbourg, at the time when he lived in California. My wife and I were living in a bad section of the Bay Area, I could see all kinds of abandoned objects left right on the streets for pick up days (that never came...). I started to furnish my house with all these things, remembers the young man who is 32 of age.

Personality change,
One evening he wants to remove the door from a microwave and use it as a canvas. “A friend takes care of this business and had a lot of fun, which gave me ideas.” One month later 50 friends are in Stephan’s garden, they all brought something to smash, a band is taking care of the music, the artist is hosting the party and saves what he can: the Smashing Party is born.
“There is a double interest, to make people more sensitive to the recycling aspect of it all since all the objects are already broken. And see the people transform themselves during the destroying session, sometimes there is a real great change in personality” says Stéphan. “That is true; something is being released,” says Hubert, who likes to take care of bigger matters (water heater etc.)..with a rotating saw.

Dernières Nouvelles d Alsace (Bouxart) 212 000 issues 14|03|2000

...Next to the others, a young man full of ideas creates in a complete opposite style. There are no pure lines. It is the total chaos. If you look at it from a distance, mother boards, transistors, guitar strings and smashed boxes disappear to leave the incredible view of the Portland Bay from a plane. Stéphan Graff reuses anything that falls into his hands, a passion that he started during his stay in the USA.