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'LETRE is a performance in the present tense, the essence of moments of being, in writing.' The fourth exhibition in the Gesture, and thought series at La Verrière presents a minimalist installation by French artist Benoît Maire, marking the latest stage in the philosophical exploration underpinning his work.
Bare walls and sculptures placed not on plinths, but directly on the floor: Benoît Maire's project LETRE is a striking work highlighting the relationship between its parts, described by curator Guillaume Désanges as 'a vast installation of sculptures, materials and collages, organised into a composition governed by no explicit rules, exploring sensation and the expression of thought as form.' LETRE embraces the expression of the idea in form, the object as the physical host, the embodiment of thought.
Playing on the title's French homonyms (lettre or letter, and l'être, meaning a creature or being), Benoît Maire presents a personal exploration of the concept of 'address, and the purpose or destination of things.' One emblematic piece features the pointing finger of Leonardo da Vinci's Saint John the Baptist, as a cut-out sticker applied to a stone.
The third in a series of recent exhibitions in London and Vancouver, LETRE applies Maire's signature process: the 'sampling' of de-contextualised elements, composed in relation to one another. As such, the exhibition resonates closely with the Duchampian themes of the current season at La Verrière, exploring the symbiosis of concepts and objects.
Born in 1978, Benoît Maire studied philosophy before shifting to art at the Villa Arson in Nice, and post-graduate work at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His work enacts a continuous dialogue between art and metaphysics, exploring ideas and concepts in plastic, proteiform, often collaborative installations. He was the joint winner of the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in 2010, and is the author of numerous exhibitions in France and elsewhere.