“Life is a film”, the summer exhibition-event


#NICE Far from confining himself to his ivory tower, Ben has always wanted to bring together all the creative energies, actions and performances in relation to the public and other artists. At 83, he is still in motion and, on the 2000 m2 of the “109” in Nice, he proposes, not an exhibition in the conventional sense, but rather an event that tends to show that “Life is a film”.

A film that unrolls like the flow of time with images that go back to the artist’s beginnings in the late 50s and continue to this day, always with the same pugnacity, the same sense of irony and doubt. In a ring in the middle of the space, Ben confronts his environment and, refusing any hierarchy, he presents about fifty artists, some known, but also friends or anonymous. From this flow of images or aphorisms, it is the whole diversity of art that emerges in disorder as if this accumulation of experiences and individualities constituted in itself an installation linked to a series of performances as Ben excels at producing them.

“Art is life” kept proclaiming Fluxus when Ben met Maciunas in 1963. Which meant that beyond the work, art was everywhere and that it was thus associated with non-art. Life, art and film then come together in this strange but full of vitality game that this event reveals. As art is everywhere, everyone can claim a sequence of it and, following Duchamp, everyone can claim to be an artist. An iconoclastic attitude which, paradoxically, while desecrating the work, sometimes led to another form of elitism. Yet this gesture made us realize that this energy of art could permeate all acts of daily life. Ben is working precisely in this field. Through the excess of a simple and repetitive writing as well as through his drawings as sure as hesitant, he signs life as a performance, in a recognizable, everyday and popular style. No other truth was decelerated than this doubt that touches the living, this certainty that nothing is certain beyond the flow that carries us away.

We will meet some celebrities such as Arman, Filiou, Armleder, Yoko Ono or Combas and young artists such as Anne Laure Wuillai for her poetry of water or Laurie Jacquetty for her drawings of everyday life with sensitive features. Here we are immersed in the bubbling of life: It’s called freedom.

Until October 19th

“Life is a film”

The 109

Michel Gathier

With a literary background, Michel Gathier developed a passion for art very early, particularly during long stays abroad. He has contributed to the magazine “L’art vivant” and now...

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