AboutWEAPON will be the first solo exhibition in a London institution by French artist Benoà ®t Maire (b. 1978). Arising from his interest in philosophy and conceptual art, his work is nonetheless immensely formal: he has inherited as much from surrealism and minimalism as from Marcel Broodthaers and Joseph Beuys. It is this aspect of his practice that will be the focus of our exhibition.
His practice often involves collage and assemblage, forcing structures, references and materials into paradoxical but productive relationships. The original sources frequently borrowed from modern and contemporary art history are not crucial; what matters is to make cognitive structures collide and to find a wild and sensual rapport with theory and culture. Beyond the discourse on theory as a shape, what Maire proposes is a surprising relationship to freedom (of interpretation, at the very least) and to thought as a form of co-production.
Benoà ®t Maire continues to ask a simple question: can theory be a form? In seeking an answer, his work deals with the structures of knowledge, occasionally deconstructing them, occasionally duplicating them, and occasionally orchestrating their driftings. If his works can be extremely diverse (films, installations photographs, collages, etc), certain motifs keep appearing (philosophy, geometry, the notions of vision or use, etc), certain objects change status (from the functional to the metaphorical, from an object to an artwork, from a clue to a demonstration and so on).
The project will introduce a group of new works photographs, sculptures and films. Highlights will include a 10-meter-long silk print and the artist's latest film, in which art becomes a sort of aesthetic terrorism. The exhibition will revolve around two main motifs: the confrontation of nature and culture and between measuring devices and weapons.
The museum, refashioned as laboratory, becomes itself a place for measurement, one in which a mirror doubles the space, a vitrine displays a transparent head, a work on canvas is completed by a series of sculptures that frame and re-frame the space.
Benoà ®t had presented works at the I.C.A., London, the Tate Modern, London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris. He had solo exhibition in numerous art centres in Europe. He is represented in London by Hollybush Gardens, in France by Cortex Athletico and in Berlin by Croy Nielsen. The exhibition is curated by DRAF's director Vincent Honoré with assistant curator Nicoletta Lambertucci.
An exhibition organized by DRAF, London, in collaboration with Fondazione Giuliani, Rome. An exhibition supported by Institut Français and Fluxus, with additional support from Cura Magazine and Mousse Magazine. Our media partner is Spike Magazine.