Most of these photo-souvenirs featured in this exhibition were reproduced in the catalogue, Discordance/Coherence (1976) by R.H. Fuchs with the collaboration of Daniel Buren and with contributions by André Bompard, B.H.D Buchloh, Douglas Crimp, and René Denizot. Published by Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands in an edition of 600.
The only mention of the term photo-souvenir is on the credit page. Each photo is noted with the photographer’s name, credited below. It seems critical that in viewing these works, as they were presented at the time in the catalogue, it should be noted that many of the photo-souvenirs are credited as "by Daniel Buren." The word by was dropped from future catalogues or books about the artist. While the artist later clarified his position in subsequent texts and catalogues, at the time of publishing Discordance/Coherence Buren was presented as a photographer of the photo-souvenir thus putting into question in future citations and whether or not the photo-souvenir should be considered a work of art or merely a remembrance of a work of art as Buren later defined it. B. Boyer (Bernard Boyer) photographed many Buren works in situ. Those photo-souvenirs are now noted with the Buren copyright symbol. This might be a minor issue but as the exhibit reflects photo-souvenirs cannot be exhibited in galleries or institutions. They are not currently intended to be part of the marketplace of the art world.
Photo-souvenir by B. Boyer featured on page 4 of the catalogue is a different exposure taken at the same time and place.
The catalogue notes that Buren distributed 200 posters with 8.7 cm wide green and white stripes in the streets of Paris without the support of a gallery or institution.
Photo-souvenir by B. Boyer featured on page 4 of the catalogue with slight cropping.
This photo-souvenir was from one of the 200 posters in situ in Paris on the corner of Rue Mazarine and Rue Guénégaud (found via google maps).
“Two works done in Paris during March and April of 1968 are seminal to Buren’s development and also are among the earliest pieces conceived outside the studio or outside the confines of the traditional exhibition space. For the first of these works, Buren adhered rectangular pieces of white-and-green striped paper to some two hundred billboards typically found in Paris and its environs, randomly placing the striped rectangles over or next to advertising images.” 
Photo-souvenir by Daniel Buren featured on page 5 of the catalogue with cropped version.
Buren was invited by Guido Le Noci of Apollinaire Gallery, Milan, Italy to participate in Prospect 68 in the Kuntshalle in Dusseldorf, organized by Konrad Fischer and Hans Strelow. He initially refused the invitation, yet agreed after Le Noci offered concurrent solo exhibitions in Dusseldorf and Milan. 
“When Buren glued green and white striped material to the outside door of the Apollinaire Gallery in Milan in 1968 for his first solo exhibition, he effectively closed the door to the conventional exhibition area in order to open it up to questions. By covering the door with stripes, he substituted doorframe fortraditional frame while having replaced the traditional canvas surface area with the surface of the entry door.” 
Photo-souvenir by Daniel Buren featured on page 50 of the catalogue.
This photo-souvenir is from the Museum of Modern Art exhibition, Eight Contemporary Artists, by Jennifer Licht, Associate Curator, Painting and Sculpture, presented October 9 through January 5, 1975. Other participating artists: Vito Acconci, Alighiero Boetti, Hanne Darboven, Jan Dibbets, Robert Hunter, Brice Marden, and Dorothea Rockburne.
Alison M. Gingeras stated, “For his contribution to the MoMA’s landmark Eight Contemporary Artists exhibition, Daniel Buren created a multipart work that was located in four different places—two within the confines of the [M]useum, and two off-site.” The other two were at 420 West Broadway where John Weber Gallery and Leo Castelli Gallery were located, and on a billboard at Lafayette and Canal Street, as shown. (See above for the Museum works.) Gingeras’ text indicates the title of the work at MoMA as Corridor Passage: From and Off the Windows.
As noted in the catalogue on page 50, photo-souvenirs by Louise Lawler were taken after a support was put in the MOMA garden for the marble wall where the Burens were sited.
Photo-souvenir by Daniel Buren but not featured in the catalogue.
Passage Between was at the Portland Center for the Visual Arts, May 31 – June 23, 1974 at NW 5th Avenue. The complete title of the exhibition was: Passage Between, Inside & Outside. Noted as taken by Buren in the catalogue, Mot à Mot (2002), Centre Georges Pompidou: Editions Xavier Barral: Editions de La Martinière, Paris, France. Printing with blackened edge gives it the effect of an art object more than documentation, i.e. photo-souvenir.
This photo-souvenir does not appear in the catalogue. Script on verso indicates that it was considered then rejected from final selection.
Photo-souvenir by Daniel Buren featured on page 53 of the catalogue.
This photo-souvenir was taken of one work that was part of a series of three with nine pieces, each with different colors.
Photo-souvenir Daniel Buren featured on page 56 of the catalogue.
Seven Ballets in Manhattan was presented by John Weber Gallery, May 27 through June 2, 1975. Ballets performed by Sue Bailey, Joanne Caring, Peter Frank, Susan Heinemann, and Mark Levine. Replacements were Louise Lawler and Jeffrey Deitch. Ballets took place in Central Park, Chinatown, East Village, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Times Square, and Wall Street. A later (re)presentation took place May 27 through June 2, 2007, and was entitled, Five Ballerinas in Manhattan, presented by Jonathan Monk.
Photo-souvenir by Daniel Buren featured on page 56 of the catalogue.
 Anne Rorimer, “From Painting to Architecture”, Daniel Buren: Parkett 66-2003.
The city was first and foremost a site for the production and realization of commodities, a site of industrial concentration and exploitation. Today the city is first and foremost the site of the sign’s execution, as in its life or death sentence.
—Jean Baudrillard, 1976
The thing is to see: Photo-souvenirs of Daniel Buren Works in Situ, 1968-1975, an exhibition presented at eight graffiti sites in San Francisco, California, brings together for the first time a discrete selection of the French artist’s significant photo-souvenirs. The exhibition focuses on outdoor works and includes photo-souvenirs of Buren’s first work in situ on the street in Paris; his earliest work in New York in association with an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art; the seminal performance work Seven Ballets; and a lesser known West Coast work for the Portland Art Center.
The thing is to see introduces the photo-souvenir and its concepts as articulated by Buren. The placement of the photo-souvenirs in city streets relocates Buren’s earliest outdoor works and graffiti on common turf. For this exhibition, these locations create the possibility for new relational associations.
Before 1975, from opposite points of view, Buren and the graffitists determined that they would create anonymous works. They each saw the city as a potential site for art and political critique. As time-based works each live in situ losing their original artistic impact in photographic reproduction; the viewer must be there in person to capture the effects. Seeing graffiti today, and thinking back to what it was, allows us to contemplate the historic positions between high and low art and art with commercial value and art that is free for the public. The photo-souvenirs have zero value according to Buren, but this seems likely to change in the future, as this exhibition argues; while the value of graffiti art has evolved from zero to being collected, auctioned, and preserved.
To begin with, the title of the exhibition is taken from the first usage of the phrase, "the thing is to see"  by ultra conceptualist  Buren, and centers on eight of his photo-souvenirs, documents of his earliest works in situ from 1968 to 1975 in Dusseldorf, Lucerne, New York City, Paris, and Portland. These photo-souvenirs represent Buren’s foremost—given their relationship to art history and his work—insertions into the urban landscapes of European and American cities.
The history of Buren’s work begins, according to art critic Lucy R. Lippard, with “Daniel Buren, Galerie Fournier, Paris, March, 1966, the first public exhibition of the vertically striped paintings which, in one form or another, Buren has continued to make until the present. The stripe paintings were first shown to a few friends in a garage in Paris in December, 1965.”  Buren identified the work as zero-degree-of-painting,  a completely neutralized execution and composition. In 1968, Buren moved zero-degree-of-painting outside and onto the facades of buildings, billboards, and street signs. With this gesture he acted in opposition to the authorial presentations of exhibitions in museums and galleries. In so doing, he created new criticality, about the discourse between art and object; architecture and landscape; society and spectacle; viewership and tourism; and space and power.
These eight photo-souvenirs were amongst papers and documents given to the Steven Leiber Archive, San Francisco, California by art historian, critic, and curator, R.H. Fuchs. All of the photo-souvenirs except one were reproduced in the catalogue Discordance/Coherence (1976), which accompanies the exhibition of the same titled curated by Fuchs (with the collaboration of Buren), and contains contributions by André Bompard, Benjamin Buchloh, Douglas Crimp, and René Denizot, published by the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.
The thing is to see offers a critical selection of works related to the pivotal timeframe when Buren’s stripes and the graffiti art movement arrived in the same conceptual arena. The photo-souvenirs represent key outdoor Buren works from which the term, photo-souvenir emerged to become permanently associated with all such works after 1985. Speaking on the photo-souvenir at that time, Buren stated, “this is not a pipe”  could apply to “this is not a work of art,” or “this is not a copy.” 
In an era when speech is transforming the world, the placement of Buren’s photo-souvenirs as an exhibition outdoors conjoins two art forms: conceptualism and graffiti art. Then and now, these two art forms are situated in the sphere of the city amongst information and advertizing that calls for our attention. Their position in relation to that medium interjected a new form of speech, another language game, into city streets.  Accordingly, a striped object or simple tag was not necessarily advertising something, but was a thing that drew into question all that was around it. Now, through this exhibition, we can consider how these art forms speak with—rather than to—their surroundings.
Beyond acting as documents of Buren works in situ, the selected photo-souvenirs reveal city landscapes on the cusp of radicalization. In the late 1960s and early 1970s anonymous artworks were intended to interrupt advertizing messages in the urban landscape. Stripes spoke about the “dematerialization of art”  into everyday forms of production. Taken from French café awnings, Buren’s vertical stripes repositioned and reproduced a sign identified with bourgeois society into a form of art. By so doing, the striking gap between art and its mechanical reproduction was highlighted. To further that concept Buren, over time, developed his critical position to his work’s reproduction, the photo-souvenir. When he sited his works outdoors they were not immediately recognized by the art world or to the passersby as art. In the urban context they appeared as a form of sign that spoke rather to architecture. Conceptually they were in conversation with their immediate environment and the historic past of the striped awning, a signifier of consumer culture.
Today graffiti represents a mixture of styles, influences, social issues, and artistic intents but in the late 1960s and early 1970s when graffiti was just emerging it collided with architecture. Armed with Magic Markers and spray-paint this new movement was led by youths from inner city projects with names like KOOLKILLER, ACE, SPIRIT, and SHADOW 137. Sprayed on subways, buses, corridors, elevators, and monuments, then later on billboards, buildings, and street signs, these new signs disrupted the order of the city. No content or message, just anonymous defiant—and, often funny—, characters, names, and numbers. Graffiti spoke against the homogeneous systemization of the city into units: commerce, entertainment, industry, leisure, transportation, and recreation. After 1975 artists such as Keith Herring and SAMO (Jean-Michel Basquiat’s tag) used the tactics of early graffitists—largely limited to marks and symbols—as political forums for their artistic practices.
While Buren’s conceptual practice was critical of urban culture and consumerism, early graffiti artists sought to claim sites and spaces as territories, a critical dimension of which was the terrain of language read through signs established by culture. Cultural theorist Jean Baudrillard in his essay on graffiti in Symbolic Exchange and Death, refers to that space as cut-up space of distinctive signs . These symbols—Buren's stripes and graffiti—marked an episodic break with the past limits of cultural space driven by white walls and authorship. Again, the earliest signs were simple tags not like the dramatic graffiti more associated with muralists and taggers today. To an audience outside of the graffiti culture these graffiti marks emerged as empty signifiers, anonymous signs, amongst other city signs of products, streets, and places. The meaning had to be inserted into these new things by the uninitiated viewer. In contrast to Buren’s stripes, which broke with the discourse of painting and art history, yet remained art, the tags and symbols of graffiti artists disrupted systems of territoriality and place to later become identified as art.
The thing is to see resituates a moment when artistic gestures transformed speech into new cultural modes. Seeing these new signs in the context of the city produced a new operational apparatus for critical discussions about art, architecture, consumerism, and urbanism. What was the ultimate meaning of these anonymous signs? In the company of so many other signs driven towards territorializing human experience and civilization, filters now appeared; stripes and marks through which assignation of meaning created direct discourse between the receiver of the work and its sender. Unlike Richard Artschwager’s “blips” of the 1960s about the surface of buildings, Buren’s work was directed toward architecture and urban space. And while the blips came directly from Artschwager’s hand, Buren’s stripes represent a machine aesthetic. According to Buren, anyone can make a Buren. While this is true, there remains no equivalent to a Buren work in situ, nor an equivalent to its lasting image in the photo-souvenir.
 The thing is to see first appeared in a catalogue for the exhibition Using Walls (Outdoors) at the Jewish Museum, May 13 - June 21, 1970, New York, New York. The date associates with the photo-souvenirs curated in this exhibition.
 “In 1967, John Chandler, and I wrote the article on “The Dematerialization of Art,” that was published in the February 1968 Art International in which we saw ‘ultra conceptual art’ emerging from two directions: art as idea and art as action.” Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968), ix.
 Lippard, 14.
 Ethan Spigland, “Daniel Buren” (Interview with and translation the French by Ethan Spigland) in Journal of Contemporary Arts 1, Spring 1988, 7.
 Rene Magritte, Ceci n’est pas une pipe, 1928-29, oil on canvas.
 Jean-François Lyotard, “Preliminary Notes on the Pragmatic of Works: Daniel Buren,” in October, Vol. 10, (Autumn, 1979), 59-67.
 Lyotard, 59-67.
 Lippard, np.
 Baudrillarid, 77.