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La Kunsthalle Mulhouse Opens Benoit Maire Exhibition

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse presents Benoît Maire, exhibition on view 15 September–13 November 2011. Opening: Thursday, 6 October at 6.30 pm.

Benoît Maire is the first artist invited by Vincent Honoré to inaugurate a cycle of exhibitions at la Kunsthalle Mulhouse. This cycle will concentrate on the question of knowledge, knowledge as a form and a structure to expropriate, a type of knowledge which is often foreign (outside of the arts), multifaceted and theoretical (science, philosophy, architecture, etc), and which must be taken over. This is a bare, stripped form of knowledge: its source is no longer of any importance—it is only of any value in a relationship of metamorphoses and metabolisms, and when we give it value through co-relation, transactions and translations.

Knowledge has changed dramatically, from its formation to its transmission and conservation it has become, at least with the internet, open and thus impure. Badly taught and badly understood, it is revived through its gaps, approximations and errors: how do artists pervert structures in order to question the coproduction and transmission of knowledge, while giving form to its shapes and spaces in a unique manner?

Benoît Maire consistently asks a simple question: can theory have a form? His exhibition is not a snapshot, nor is it a retrospective representation, rather it belongs to a journey (that of the artist, at an important point in his practice) and a train of thought (that of the curator responsible for this cycle of exhibitions).

The exhibition is conceived as a spatial and temporal structure to play with. In essence it is nothing but a resource for the spectator. What happens is elsewhere, just as the objects in the exhibition are signs of something else. The exhibition must be inhabited, just like a text to be read (if to read is to co-author); motifs reappear in the different rooms, forms change status (from metaphorical to functional, from object to work of art, etc.). The installations refer to a large and precise body of knowledge; from the history of cinema to philosophy, via mythology and modern art. However the sources (which are absent in the exhibition) are not the essential element. It is the relationship between the spectator and the project, the metabolism and the work of art, which is at stake: how can we read these objects in a different way? How can we understand these objects freely, choosing a philosophical, artisanal or mythological vocabulary? And how do we ensure that the metonymical chain created by Benoît Maire will take on meaning? Beyond the discourse on theory as a form, Benoît Maire also proposes a relationship between liberty (of interpretation) and objects as co-productions.

This exhibition is the first chapter of a research, which leads the work of visiting curator Vincent Honoré at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse, and will be set up as a programme, or even one unique project spread out over a year in four movements (three exhibitions, one book) which go together, enrich one another and complete each other. Beyond the general subject matter, this proposition also attempts to explore, to define and to historicise a recent dynamic in contemporary culture and artistic creation: their formal, “correlational”, relationship with, and irreverence towards, knowledge and its coproduction. These three exhibitions, like the book, are not conclusions: they represent steps to follow. To study and explore is to form an opinion.

La Kunsthalle Mulhouse / La Fonderie
16 rue de la Fonderie
68093 Mulhouse Cedex
T +33 (0)3 69 77 66 47
[email protected]

Image: L’esthétique des différents, le menteur, 2011 (detail).
Courtesy Galerie Cortex Athletico.

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