La théorie de l’ego

Ben has been represented by Galerie Daniel Templon since 1970, and is presenting a new exhibition at the Impasse Beaubourg space on the theme of the ego. The show combines historic pieces with recent and previously unseen work.

WHO IS BEN? There’s a short Ben biography on Wikipedia, although it’s not very good and needs correcting. A better idea is to go to the website, online since 1997.

WHY THIS EXHIBITION? This exhibition serves to present my book, La théorie de l’ego [The Theory of the Ego], a first step towards explaining the relationship between the universe and the ego.

WHAT WILL YOU BE EXHIBITING? I don’t know yet. I’m torn between a traditional hanging approach, alternating an old painting from the 1960s with a mirror, or another possibility, which would involve using an historical series of appropriations from the 1960s. Living sculptures – death – holes – wastelands – mysterious boxes – God – other people – light – other people’s paintings, etc.


WHY AT DANIEL TEMPLON? Because whereas lots of galleries see me as merely provocative, Daniel Templon, who has been exhibiting my work since 1970 at Rue Bonaparte, has always considered me to be a pioneer of conceptual art, making use of writing and the truth ahead of lots of other artists in the 1970s. Daniel Templon produced the first. edition of appropriations in 1972, which are part of the Staatliches Museum Schwerin collection and that Jon Hendriks from MOMA exhibited during my M.A.C. retrospective in Lyon.

ARE YOU NO LONGER PROVOCATIVE? I’ve got other projects underway, like spending a night in a box measuring 2 m by 2 m from Chenue, a specialist in transporting art and therefore egos.

The artist

Born in 1935 in Naples, Ben lives and works in Nice. He began to make a name for himself in 1959 thanks to his ‘hotchpotch shop, a place for meetings and exhibitions.’ One of the founders of the Fluxus movement in the early 1960s, he maintains that everything is art and that everything is possible in art. Ben is a provocative and innovative artist who places the question of ego at the centre of his work. He is best known for his performances and calligraphic aphorisms-texts.

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