Solo show at Syntax, Lisbon
Curator: Marketa Stara

<The work of French artist Julie Béna is an open stage. It is a place of encounter – a place for the development and engagement of fictional characters, characters who come to life through the animism of objects and the mythologies they embody. The power of language here has been muted to the very minimum. Words have been emptied through the course of time, transforming them into labels that convey manifold, yet somehow standardised meaning, depending on the characters they dress and the ones they engage with.

The beauty mark that functions as a leitmotif of the exhibition and that follows us through the show, is suggestive of a female character. It might be the artist, who frequently develops and impersonates multiple personas in her practice, may it be through the performative or through the symbolic value and the power of the object based, as is the case of L’Eternelle insatisfaite, or it may be a mark, which signifies the presence of the absent body.

The diversity in the materiality of individual objects advocates multiple impersonations. The common denominator that some of them share: i.e. the use of colour or a repetition in form, point however to a dialectic relationship between these objects. Although seemingly lifeless – as if suspended in time -, the mythologies of these objects question through their materiality, the present notion of the living, which surpasses our standard idea of the human and the humanisation of the supposedly dead, creating a strange ecology of equality, through which objects are brought to life and their voices are heard.>

Julie Béna (1982) is one of the leading representatives of the youngest generation of French artists. She has exhibited her work in numerous institutions around the world, among other at the ICA in London, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, ISCP, New York or Kunsthalle Bergen. Her exhibition L’Eternelle insatisfaite is the first presentation of the artists’ work in Portugal and introduces solely a series of new works produced especially for the purpose of the exhibition at SYNTAX.