Benoit Izard is a performer, dancer and visual artist, based in Paris and Miami. His interest lies in the body, how it exposes and performs its reality through specifics conditions. In 1998 he graduated with a degree in Architecture with the work on the link between dance and built space. From 1996 to 2000 he studied dance and choreography at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam. Among others, he has worked with Jérôme Bel (The Show Must Go On), Gwenaël Morin, Nina Meško, Min Tanaka, Montalvo Hervieu, Meg Stuart and from 2000, he regularly collaborates with the Centre Pompidou. His work has been shown in New York, all over Europe and in Africa, in public spaces, and major art venues, such as Wynwood Art Fair and Art Basel Miami.
On his residential visit to Maribor he wanted to upgrade and expand his already existing series of performances Scotch Tape. These performances are based on the performer’s body, wrapped by packing tape, investigating the physical experience by bringing to the surface how we perceive the body and how it transforms. Scotch Tape has been developed as site specific performing art (Scotch crossing cities) and body art in contemporary art venues (Scotch basic function).
At his presentation in the GuestRoomMaribor Gallery, the audience got the see his performance, which was a continuation of his artistic research, and is centred around the idea of a fetish – both as adoration of an object, and of the art form itself (meaning the performance, and the act of performing as the fetish of the artist).
Since the body has always been in the centre of his interest, he also wanted to dedicate some of his time exploring “inanimate” bodies (those being stone sculptures), to try and capture the ecstasy in them, explore the issue of transformation of the body, and the observer’s perception of it. His proposed project anticipated an intervention in the sculptures that are part of the Plague Memorial in Maribor; however, he did not get the necessary permission from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage.
During his stay in Maribor, the artist continued working on another one of his projects - the installation LOVE, which had already been presented in Miami, Paris, New York and Bahia (Brazil). The installation's aim is the transformation of space; using simple, colourful lettering, the artist wants to give a certain space new energy, a new label, which would then stay in people’s mind and alter their perception of this space.
Text: Maja Pardeilhan