Benoît Maire – Spiaggia di menzogne – Fondazione Giuliani, Rome
Fondazione Giuliani is pleased to present Spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach), French artist Benoît Maire’s first solo exhibition in Italy. Using a wide variety of media, including sculpture, photography, writing, film and performance, Maire attempts to construct a unique visual index, or aesthetic system. This system, imbued with philosophical, artistic or literary references, questions the affective value of a theory, it poses a problem. While adhering to a rigorous conceptual approach, however, the artist is also deeply engaged in an investigation of the more formal qualities of an artwork.
Spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach) can be read as a three-part investigation into the act of seeing, the process of measuring and the analysis of a work of art. Can an artwork represent truth? Is a work of art in fact a lie? (To be able to lie, one must know the truth.)
Several new works will be presented in the exhibition, including a film shot on location in Rome in the days immediately prior to the show’s opening, together with recent pieces that have been adapted to the spaces of the Foundation. A key component of the show is the body of works which can be understood as an allegory of measurement. In 2012, Benoît Maire began to produce tools which serve as measuring devices. It is never quite clear what these tools measure, so the viewer must imagine the function of each tool and discern for which objects these tools are made for. This body of sculptures is entitled “arma”, or weapon. To more fully understand the meaning of these tools, the artist also produces photographs that show people in relationship to objects while performing an act of measuring, and uses the tools himself during performances in which the meaning of the tools is created through the act of using them. These performances are not for an audience, but rather are performative acts that are filmed and later presented in video.
Through this allegory, one can understand the relationship that human beings maintain to the surrounding environment. This relationship is based on the measurement of things, and through this act of measuring the basic idea of philosophy as a mere science emerges. What the artist represents, then, is not philosophy itself, but a relation that is a condition of the possibility of philosophy or science.
Fondazione Giuliani – Via Gustavo Bianchi 1
October 4 – December 14, 2013