L’UX: The French Hacker-Artist Underground and Untergunther
Exploration, infiltration, reconfiguration, control, installation… restoration.
L´UX (for Urban eXperiment) is a Paris based clandestine organisation. The goal is to improve and restore the hidden corners of Paris and abandoned sides of urban inheritage. Their works have included restoring the Pantheon clock, building a fully equiped clandestine movie theater under the Chaillot Hill built by La Mexicaine De Perforation, restoring medieval crypts, and staging plays and readings in monuments after dark.
In 2005, the Untergunther infiltrated the Panthéon of Paris and, in 2006, with the help of the professional clockmaker Jean-Baptiste Viot, started to restore the abandoned monumental 1850 Wagner clock before its irreversible state of defacement.
Never caught, upon completion they announced their work at a meeting with the director of the Panthéon who called the police. Charges were brought against four members but, at trial, after twenty minutes deliberation, the judge ruled in favor of the Untergunther.
Watch: Pantheon, user’s guide
from Lazar Kunstmann on Vimeo.
On august 23rd 2004, the Parisian police discovered Les Arènes de Chaillot (“The Chaillot Arenas”), bulit by La Mexicaine De Perforation , a 400 meter square all equiped cinema, located right under the previous projection room, and done the Urbex Movies film festival.
However, it is difficult to quantify Ux’s actions: the Group values its secret and its known successes have only been inadvertently revealed. The public learned of the group’s underground movie theater after the members’ ex-girlfriend told the police. The group staged a film festival dedicated to the theme of “urban deserts” – the forgotten and underused spaces in the city.
The group’s membership is largely secret, but Lazar Kunstmann the spokesman for L’UX, relates in “La culture en clandestins. L’UX” these extraordinaries 25 years of projects from the genesis of the organisation to the trial for the clock.