Variations in Variations

of 15/12/22 to 31/03/23

From 15 December 2022 to 31 March 2023 by Damien Bénéteau

Curator : Djeff

https://www.fondationvasarely.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/IMG_2439-scaled.jpg

For the past ten years, Damien Bénéteau has been developing a series of sculptures, Variations, which make tangible the ordinarily imperceptible forces that govern our universe. Each one consists of a mechanical, kinetic and optical device that allows human perception to grasp the flow of time and the cyclical structure of the universe in a form of sensitive evidence. In a pendulum movement, a ball passes at regular intervals through a pierced plate, perpendicular to its plane of oscillation. The minimalism of the volumes, the abstraction of the geometric forms, the coldness of the metal and the slowness of the rhythm together form a microcosm reduced vue de face - Damien Bénéteau to its minimum significance, like a star reduced to its most elementary physical dimension. Each Variation reflects its play of light and shadow in the immediate environment and seeks to draw the eye into an almost meditative state. This work is now evolving towards more immersive.

This work is now evolving towards more immersive, more technical and larger-scale forms, with the influence of kinetic art and op’art on his work. From the former, he retains the idea that movement is a medium in itself, a generator of forms in its own right, and from the latter, the idea that an optical game is capable of redesigning the world.

For his project at the Vasarely Foundation, Damien Bénéteau took up the form of the pendulum, thought out on the scale of a building, like Foucault’s pendulum at the Pantheon. Fixed to the ceiling, at a height of 11 metres, the installation is based on the same principle as the Variations: a sphere in movement crosses an imposing metal plate placed vertically, cut out from its entire height and lit from its inner edge. Treated in the mass, it presents two surfaces leaning against each other – one side matt, the other silvered – vue de côté - Damien Bénéteaueven if the ball, of a black without brilliance, does not produce a mirror effect and leaves, around it, a small effect and leaves Vasarely’s works intact around it. Unlike Foucault’s pendulum, its movement is not correlated with the Earth’s rotation. An autonomous magnetic device engages it in a manifestly infinite pendulum movement. The plasticity of movement, its capacity to sculpt forms in matter as in perception, is then manifested with force, and in a certain nakedness. When it passes through the plate, the ball sees its relief remodelled by the light, which animates its volume and makes its contours more prominent. Its movement makes its features appear, the kinetic sensation is transformed into visual perception. At their point of coincidence, the ball and the plate, aligned on the same vertical axis, verriere-fondation-vasarely even draw a falsely flat compositiona falsely flat composition, which a front viewer can furtively grasp as two-dimensional. The plastic becomes graphic, the sculpture becomes a painting or a drawing.

In this installation, the interaction between movement, volume and light creates an environment marked by depth, mystery and a certain solemnity. The slow and regular oscillation of the mobile sculpture is part of a temporal loop that calls to mind the image of a metronome or a chronometric measuring instrument. Without giving in to playfulness, or auspectacularity, the installation shows in all its simplicity the common deployment of time and space. It particularly focuses attention on the dilation of duration, raising awareness of time as historically lived, in consciousness, as well as time as a physical and perceptive-cognitive phenomenon. Variations in Variations ends up being read as a poetic interpretation of gravity revealed in the past, a suspended and stretched present that is replayed here ad infinitum.

– Florian Gaité

Damien Bénéteau

Biography

Damien Bénéteau was born in 1971 (L’Hay les Roses). He lives and works in Paris. Represented by the Morrison Gallery (Paris) and the MAD Gallery (Switzerland) In 1993, after obtaining a BTS in photography, he joined the press agency MPA (an agency specialising in actor portraits) and at the same time carried out several reports for Yann Kersalé, including the Pont de Normandie and the “Parabole” in Cahors. He photographs the projects of the architectural firms: Architecture studio, Gallois Dudzik associés and B.A.D.

In 1998 he founded a collective of photographers called “Les Cyclopes” whose work is oriented towards fashion. Their images are published in France in Libération, Le Monde, L’Officiel, Art press and Beaux-Arts but also abroad in The Sunday Times Style (UK), ID magazine (UK), W (USA) and Visionaire (USA). They participated in several group exhibitions including “La Beauté en Avignon” in 2000, “Le Corps Mutant” at the Enrico Navara gallery and an exhibition at the F.R.A.C of the Aquitaine region in 2001. In 2005 they organised their first solo exhibition entitled “C’est des sorcières…” followed in 2008 by “Justifié par le haut”.

2010 marks the beginning of Damien Bénéteau’s career as a visual artist, who chooses to transpose the process of light capture into the sculptural genre. The result is a sober and minimal plastic work, which combines light sculpture, a play of texture on the surface of volumes and, often, a mechanical and luminous animation that energizes its perception.

He collaborates with the Morrison Gallery and the MAD

Exhibitions

2012, Exposition collective, « Tools Galerie » , Paris, France
2014, Exposition solo, « Tools Galerie » , Paris, France
2014, Pavillon Arts & Design, « Tools Galerie », Jardin des Tuileries, Paris 2015, Exposition solo « Galerie Mathias Coullaud » , Paris, France
2015, Exposition solo « MAD Gallery » , Geneve, Suisse
2016, Exposition solo « MAD Gallery » , Taipei, Taiwan
2017, Exposition collective, « DeLight » Berlin, Allemagne
2017, Exposition solo « MAD Gallery », Dubaï, Emirats Arabes Unis
2017, Inauguration installation permanente, Lycée Léon Blum, Vreteil France 2018, Exposition collective « MAD Gallery » , Geneve, Suisse
2018, Exposition collective « MAD Gallery » , Dubai, Emirat Arabe Unis 2019, Exposition collective «Pavillon Carré de Baudouin, paris
2020, Exposition solo «Scope», Paris
2020, Exposition collective «Morrison Gallery», Kent, USA
2021, Exposition collective LAPS Verdun, France

Website of Damien Bénéteau
Instagram of Damien Bénéteau