Julie Béna

1982, France ; lives and works in Prague


NTT: (new commission)

From “Miss None & Mister Peanut” to “Rose Pantoponne”, Julie Béna has given life to a large number of characters and avatars, a set of masks, costumes and stories which she tasks herself with donning, most of the time. Marked by the theatre world in which she grew up, and inspired by many of its forms —from Greek tragedy to nocturnal bar scenes— the artist is forever re-enacting its codes in installations, films and performances. At La Halle de la Courrouze, J. Béna’s interest focuses on the world of the peep-show, a theatrical system designed to be seen through opera glasses, and thus by one person at a time. The peep-show, which usually offers an erotic content, here represents a chance to broach the issue of pornography and the possible renewal of its forms from a feminist angle. Who wants to be my horse? (2018) is presented in the form of a small pocket theatre hidden behind metal bars which the viewer walks into. What is enacted behind the thick velvet curtains is a series of tableaus in which, accompanied by other protagonists, J. Béna works her way through several sexual female identities, their representations and their narratives. Among them, Madison Young, a militant figure within the “pro-sex” movements advocating the occupation of the porn industry by women and sexual minorities, delivers a monologue to the camera. It is interspersed with poetry by the American artist and musician Jamika Ajalon, and by the bawdy Czech jokes mischievously told by Dita Lam and Shanta Rao, while the artist shares a few moments which have marked her own sex life.

Avec le soutien de / with the support of Ars Ultima – Stein & Guillot Art Foundation

Who wants to be my horse?, 2018

Halle de la Courrouze

Video installation (32’)

Courtesy of the artist.
Production Les Ateliers de Rennes – 2018
With the support of Ars Ultima – Stein & Guillot Foundation