Jean-Paul Thibeau is a "meta-artist", researcher and teacher whose work, as a set of experiments, aims to interrogate the modalities and activities (displacements and transformations) of the "artist self". The forms of these experiments vary according to place, duration, proposal and interlocutor. Through ceaseless experimentation, a poetics of existence is created.
Much of Thibeau's activity is based on the idea of (meta)displacement: physical displacement and mental displacement.
His sculpture is polymorphous, cutting across media and methods. It embraces installation-performances, seminar-experimentations, and periods that verge on non-definition.
Since 1995, Thibeau has been organising meta-protocols (www.protocolesmeta.com). These are systems for exploring the diverse forms, savours, aesthetics and consciousnesses of existence – with "meta", in this case, denoting participation, succession and change… Since 2002, he has headed a laboratory – the "meta-workshop" – at the Ecole Supérieure d'Art in Aix-en-Provence.
Jean-Paul Thibeau is among the most enigmatic of artists. So far, the best account of his flights of fancy and tactical discretion has been given by the philosopher Jean-Pierre Cometti.