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Maurice Benayoun, Open Art

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Emergence of Open Art

Derrick de Kerckhove

New Scala Edition - November 2011 - 196 p.

Very early on he proposed, along with the Quarx, the only acceptable explanation for the imperfection of the world. He knew how to ask The Great Questions: wondering if God is flat and the devil curved. He dug the Tunnel under the Atlantic, drew up the emotional map of the planet and then marketed the emotions of the world in a musical cocktail. Varying the situation and the action, he organized a Photo Safari in the land of war and shared the retina with the whole planet. It was about time he offered Big Brother's little sister the opportunity to make herself known.

He's the one who makes abbey walls talk and finds cockroaches on the moon. To go around China, he created a giant interactive installation. If he has designed a living metro station, he has no less, and without apparent connection, transformed the Arc de Triomphe into a monument for peace. Since 2006, he has been putting all his unrealized projects in the dump, so that he or others can finally exhibit them. Conceived on the occasion of the Out of The Dump exhibition at the Enghien-les-Bains arts centre, this monograph is the first devoted to the work of Maurice Benayoun. Tracing his career over the last thirty years, it finally offers an overall vision of an eminently singular artistic approach, often poetic and visionary. It reveals the coherence that subtly emerges in the creative processes implemented from his first works to their successive deployments. This polymorphous work incisively questions the relationship of art to the world, but also our way of acting on and in the world. In the diversity and relevance of its artistic and theoretical commitment, it is the emergence of Open Art that strikes by its obviousness.

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