The work of French artist Julie Béna is an open stage. It is a place of encoun- ter - a place for the development and engagement of ctional characters, characters who come to life through the animism of objects and the mytholo- gies they embody. The power of language here has been muted to the very minimum. Words have been emptied through the course of time, transforming them into labels that convey manifold, yet somehow standardised meaning, depending on the characters they dress and the ones they engage with.
The beauty mark that functions as a leitmotif of the exhibition and that follows us through the show, is suggestive of a female character. It might be the artist, who frequently develops and impersonates multiple personas in her practice, may it be through the performative or through the symbolic value and the power of the object based, as is the case of L’Eternelle insatisfaite, or it may be a mark, which signi es the presence of the absent body.
The diversity in the materiality of individual objects advocates multiple im- personations. The common denominator that some of them share: i.e. the use of colour or a repetition in form, point however to a dialectic relationship between these objects. Although seemingly lifeless - as if suspended in time -, the mythologies of these objects question through their materiality, the pre- sent notion of the living, which surpasses our standard idea of the human and the humanisation of the supposedly dead, creating a strange ecology of equality, through which objects are brought to life and their voices are heard.
Photos by Bruno Lopes, courtesy of the artist and Syntax.
Julie Béna - L'Eternelle insatisfaite
Syntax, January 22 - March 12