Benoît Maire: Quelques meubles
”It is about making sculptures with constraints”, TLmag spoke to Benoît Maire about the new show at Galerie Nathalie Obadia and his practice.
Galerie Nathalie Obadia presents the exhibition Benoît Maire Quelques meubles, which holds pieces of furniture, editions, and unique creations made by Maire for the design and architecture collective Ker-Xavier. Ker-Xavier was founded in 2010 by, amongst others, scenographer Marie Corbin. Over time, the group has become a label of which the artist has been the artistic director since 2016. Under the name Benoît Maire pour Ker-Xavier, he edits furniture, signs exhibition set designs, collaborates with artists on special projects, and carries out private commissions. TLmag spoke to Maire to learn more about his practice and this show.
TLmag: Your practice seems to exist of different disciplines, you’ve previously worked with collages and other forms of visual art. How would you describe your practice?
Benoît Maire (B.M.): Since the beginning of my research I have wanted to build a world that I can inhabit. For me, making art is to create a world where desire is expressed in order to provide an alternative to what is normatively proposed to us.
At the beginning I studied philosophy, then aesthetics, and always this will of creation led me to create paintings, sculptures and more recently furniture. Now a world for me is a book at my fingertips sitting on a seat I like, looking up I like to see a painting and the sky through the window. When all these objects are together and I am in the middle of them I feel a sense of calm, unless I turn on the television.
TLmag: Can you elaborate on the physical and aesthetic design research which is central to the show? What narrative is it attempting to discuss or convey?
B.M.: Among the presented furniture, the one that interests me first is the chair, because its presence in the space evokes a human body. When there is an empty chair in an exhibition room we are in the same position as a hunter who sees a hoof print in the mud, a deer is probably not far. A world is possible when a discussion can take place, to make art is to be in search of a person to have a discussion with.
TLmag: ‘’The border between art object and craft has never been so thin. Several pieces of furniture are derivatives of sculptures, while others foreshadow new formal avenues in the artist’s practice.’’ the show explains. Can you elaborate on this by taking us through the show?
According to me, making functional objects, tables, chairs, etc., is an extension of my work as a sculptor. It is about making sculptures with constraints. I like constraints, if at first one can think that they hinder the creation, in the end they calm it down and guide it. Galerie Nathalie Obadia is usually a place for artistic objects, here it shifts a little by proposing functional objects, it is interesting that the gallery shows this aspect of my work.
The exhibition Benoît Maire Quelques meubles is on show at Galerie Nathalie Obadia from the 4th of september until the 23rd of octobre 2021 .
All images credited to Bertrand Huet, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris / Brussels.