Creative forgeries bamboozle Paris art groupies

Fake invitations cause chaos, and the culprit remains on the lam

The Paris art world has been mystified by forged invitation cards to a (genuine) exhibition by Jeff Koons at Galerie Lelong. The envelope also contained a (fake) letter requesting the recipient to take no notice of the invitation. Others in Paris received an invitation to a (non-existent) performance by the body artist Orlan. The painter Vincent Corpet found himself in a most embarrassing situation with the Jeu de Paume where, according to a flyer, he was supposed to be holding an exhibition. Parisian postmen also delivered invitations to an unscheduled one-man show at Durand-Dessert of the work of the German artist Hans Haacke. It has proved impossible to discover who is responsible; at first it was thought that the forger was Maurizio Cattelan, known for his subversive jokes. There are other tricksters at work as well, including a group called “United Aliens” of which the ex-model Veruschka is a member; they publish bogus information. Responsibility for the latest series of mailshots is claimed by an anonymous group of artists and other young people working in publishing and advertising. Their victims (say the peaceful terrorists) are not the artists themselves but the art world. Having caused the shit to hit the fan on more than one occasion, they declare themselves well pleased.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 101 March 2000