Nail Tang

@Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris.

Originally conceived for her solo exhibition at Galerie Joseph Tang in Paris in 2015, this 20-minute performance utilises a fictional nail-polish salon as its setting. For this performance, Béna assumes the role of a manicurist who carries out a monologue for a single audience member who is supposed to be getting a manicure. Through contact with the client’s body via a series of codified gestures supposedly intrinsic to the nail salon, the artist discloses fragments of her character’s (the manicurist’s) story, in a performance
that includes talking, reading and singing. The textual basis of the works exploits the fictionalised plight of the manicurist as protagonist to relate a larger message of social disparity through an intimate interaction. At once understated, methodical and theatrical, the virtuosic performance, which covers a wide range of attitudes, is surprising in its dynamism.
Chris Sharp