quelques sphinx



Benoît Maire with Anonyme Russe, Le Corbusier ?, Jean Derval, Lito S. Freeman, Ker-Xavier


VNH Gallery is delighted to present Benoît Maire's «quelques sphinx» project, which explores the status of objects from a collection in an exhibit where the works of supposed or specified artists dialogue at the very place where the signatures un-define themselves and become more complex to the point of blurring their origins.

What do the inscriptions on the objects reveal? How should these assemblages be interpreted? Benoît Maire confers a sphinx-like quality on the pieces presented here, restoring their status as riddles: their creators and provenance become difficult to grasp while absent, multiple or unknown initials leave room for doubt.

Inspired by a contemporary muse-a chair whose attribution to Le Corbusier remains unsettled-Benoît Maire presents objects by instrumentalizing furniture of his own design, created for KerXavier. Jean Derval's ceramics for Atelier Le Mûrier and Lito S. Freeman's paintings on pine, abstract throwbacks to tempera on wood, are spotlighted as new sphinxes asking their innate riddles while revealing their inner being.

Through the process of using his objects as sphinx «informers,» Benoît Maire redefines the curator's function. By himself turning up the volume of the dialogue between the artworks, he sketches through their usage the blurred contours of their origins, just as his signature on his creations pales in comparison to the ink stamp of Ker-Xavier architects offices, akin to a distended claim of paternity.


Text: Victoire de Pourtalès

Images: Aurelien Mole / Philippe Servent