For his first solo exhibition in The Netherlands the French artist Benoît Maire will present, under the title The Object of Criticism the second part of his philosophical investigation project Aesthetics of the Differends. In the exhibition five artworks are trying to find a solution to the question: what is the Object of philosophy? The artist understands philosophy as a critic (analytical critic) and the object of criticism can be understood as the object of philosophy.
“I go to an exhibition in search of evidence. While I’m at the exhibition, I don’t need to read a label or have someone tell me about the art; that would be a different activity. I always view the exhibition very quickly, but from beginning to end. I think there is a beginning and an end; others may claim the opposite. But there’s no question that an exhibition like this one starts with its nose to the left, and by the time I get to the table, where I read this statement, I’m halfway through the exhibition, exactly the same way I might be halfway through a sentence. This exhibition is like a sentence. In general, I don’t like meeting the artists, unless we have a light-hearted conversation, joking the whole time. I do like to go to exhibitions with a friend, because then we talk, and there’s a different kind of concentration. I think I’m very quick to recognize what I like and what I don’t, and when I think back afterwards – that evening, or later that week – my opinion can change. What I like best is when the things that didn’t appeal to me become the very things that do appeal to me. That’s the most powerful experience you can have. I can go back to the exhibition, and then I find evidence there. But evidence of what? The object of criticism.” Lorenzo Benedetti and Benoît Maire
Benoît Maire, uses various artistic forms including videos, photography, performances, texts and sculptures. His underlying medium is theory that is working using philosophical solutions as a form of materialisation in his work. He is working on a process in which the language is formalising the art object. The sculpture is a metaphor of alchemical transformation and the vitrine is symbolising the conference. In the show the images of people observing to a place with an expression of admiration is the formalisation of the artwork.
Maire’s attitude is to use philosophical questions not only as a starting point of a problematic, but in order to find a constant translation from different languages and contexts. In this way the French artists overstress the core role of the exhibition space as a space of discussion and transformations of codes. His practice also engages in the act of reading; Maire has realized a number of pieces that constitute visual interpretations of theoretical texts, including published works by Arthur C. Danto and Alain Badiou.
Benoît Maire born in 1978 in Pessac, France lives and works in Paris, has recently presented solo exhibitions at Frac Aquitaine, Bordeaux (2010), Croy Nielsen, Berlin (2009), Graz Kunstverein (with Falke Pisano), Graz (2009), Galerie Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux (2008) and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2008). “Un Nouveau Festival” at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009), “Paper Exhibition” at Artists Space, New York (2009), “Object, the undeniable success of operations” at Stedelijk museum bureau, Amsterdam (2008), “Les Feuilles” at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2008), “The artist is a mysterious entertainer” at De Appel, Amsterdam (2008), the 9th Lyon Biennale (2007) and “Proposition de Colloque” at Kadist Fondation, Paris (2007), The Repetition, Hollybush Gardens, London (2007). Conferences: Aesthetics of the Differends, with Jonas Zakaitis, National Gallery, Vilnius, Esthétique des différends, Musée d’art Moderne, Strasbourg (2010).