Art Matters with Benoît Piéron & Cédric Fauq

Tue 19 Dec

Join French artist Benoît Piéron and curator Cédric Fauq for a conversation exploring Piéron’s artistic approach. Drawing from the artist’s recent exhibitions, Slumber Party at Chisenhale Gallery, London, and Monstera Deliciosa at Mumok, Vienna, Benoît Piéron and Cédric Fauq will delve into a body of work – shaped by his intimate encounters with illness and survival – which invites to a contemplation of waiting room experiences and a critical examination of the treatment of vulnerable bodies within the medical profession.

About our guests

Benoît Piéron

Benoît Piéron lives and works in Paris. He contracted meningitis at birth and was treated for leukaemia as a child. In the 1970s and 1980s in France, 4,689 people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders were infected with HIV and hepatitis viruses through contaminated stored blood—Piéron was one of them, and whilst he did not become seropositive, his body became political.

In 2019, he returned to the hospital with cancer. As he relived his childhood trauma, he realized that his work was intimately connected to his survival of HIV/AIDS. Through his practice, the guilt he feels as one of the few survivors is transformed into something generative—a compostable energy that through practices of care and attention converts material detritus into forms that carry the voices, secretions, and powers of others.

When his cancer went into remission, he began to assemble, with the help of a phenomenologist friend, recycled hospital sheets that were made into toys, flags, gymnastic ribbons, and armchairs. Their colours are softened by the intensive washing to which the sheets were subjected. Despite this hygienic treatment, “clean stains” remain as indelible traces of previous use. Piéron seeks to produce alternative expressions of illness, exploring it as a site of potential. Far from the romantic heroism of the usual metaphors of illness, he places himself in a grey and joyful zone.

Selected exhibitions Monstera Deliciosa, Mumok, Vienna ( 2023), Slumber Party, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2023); Der pinkelnde Tod, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Bielefeld (2023); Avant l’Orage, Bourse du Commerce, Pinault Collection, Paris (2023); uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2023); Exposé.es, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2023).



Cédric Fauq

Cédric Fauq is chief curator at Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux since 2021. He was previously curator at Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and worked as curator of exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary. Recent independent projects include “Matthieu Laurette : Une rétrospective dérivée (1993 – 2023)” at MAC VAL (Vitry-sur-Seine).