Benjamin Installé - Imperium


25/03/2021 - 25/04/2021

Benjamin Installé - Imperium :: © Imperium (détail), collage numérique, 2020 - copyright Benjamin Installé

In this new exhibition, Benjamin Installé displays ambitious painting, which occupies the entirety of the Botanique Gallery. Somewhere between a large-scale historical scene, the backdrop of a play and cymatium mouldings, the focal piece of the exhibition represents a deserted space, littered with objects that have clearly been left behind by their owners and await their hypothetical return. The occupants of the painting - artists, construction workers, delivery workers or homeless people - have gone. They might have simply left their place of work at the end of the day, or perhaps we arrive just after the party has ended and everyone has already gone home to nurse a hangover.
In using painting, drawing and installation, a combination of images and a 1:1 scale, the exhibition questions the contemporary status of paintings as a vehicle of ideology and representation. With the subject having abandoned the composition, how does this affect its social visibility in reality, outside of the painting? Is this an allegory for the state of the cultural arts of today, or is it a realistic representation of everyday museum life, from the artist’s point of view?
While the “painting” remains the archetypal medium traded at art fairs, Benjamin Installé adopts the strategies of Mexican muralism (monumental scale, schematic representation), as a reaction to this situation. He also draws inspiration from the representation techniques of Brechtian theatre (abolition of the fourth wall, distancing) and the Freudian concept of disturbing strangeness.

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