Côté cour ou Côté jardin : corps transitifs

Benjamin Huynh
From 24/05/2024 to 04/08/2024

For their first solo exhibition at that’s what x said, Benjamin Huynh invites us to experience space differently, to become both a spectator and an active participant of their art.

With Côté cour or Côté jardin : corps transitifs, Benjamin Huynh refers to the space of the theatre. The artist thinks the space differently by stepping outside of the canvas, flattening the hierarchies and codes of art by using textiles and installations to create new ways of painting bodies. Unlike traditional painting, where the work is distanced from the viewer, as if sacralised, the exhibition space here is intended to be a place of passage where viewers move around and, through their movements, activate and bring the installation to life. In their work, the artist explores the concepts of transitive painting and network painting. Contrary to traditional Western figurative painting, which has been ranked at the top of the art pyramid throughout history, these two notions invite us to see painting as horizontal and interconnected with other practices, whether artistically or curatorially.

In this exhibition, Benjamin Huynh looks at bodies by exploring notions of care, inclusion, soft activism and the impact of the internet. At the heart of their approach, they highlight questions of gender and identity in relation to these different notions that accompany the representation and self-representation of queer communities. Benjamin Huynh uses photos of friends as the raw material for their art, rather than a live model, in order to break away from the model’s submission to being frozen for a given period of time. Selfies are also a source of inspiration for Benjamin Huynh, they are a positive and affirmative approach to the representation of the body, a way of questioning standards and a system that favours high-society portraits and retains political and social power.

With their work, Benjamin Huynh commits to make queer people visible while offering a space for representation and expression for those who don’t have one. Exploring oneself is both a necessary personal experience and a political act. The artist uses painting and installation as a tool to re-examine traditional aesthetics. By painting their inner circle, Benjamin Huynh both highlights their own life as well as a liquid and transitive identity, turning away from the established order, whether in our society or in the arts.

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