Benjamin Hochart, direct democracy of forms,
Pedro Morais, le Quotidien de l’Art, march 15, 2018
There is no coincidence that for his recent exhibition at Pilote Paris, the artist summoned two activists women: both the “politics of joie de vivre” by Ynestra King, an actor of ecofeminism (a movement that is the object of renewed interest with the publication Reclaim), and the famous sentence attributed to Emma Goldman, a major figure of anarchism - “If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution” - which served as its title.
For the main element of the exhibition, a series of banners titled Presidents·es, does not lack bite regarding representations of power and the crests of authority. If banners or flags are currently experiencing a new impetus in art, Benjamin Hochart expands their potential by asking the question: “What is it to represent?” Not really a people or a cause then, but our relationship to figuration. Inscribing his forms on fabrics ranging from toile de Jouy to wax, he borrows a panoply of figures allowing him to play with our anthropomorphic projections (Jack Nicholson’s grin in the Shining’s movie, silhouettes of a Rauschenberg poster for choreographer Trisha Brown, a Montessori teaching box or his own hands in hypnotist mode) and to affirm his cannibalistic taste for comic books and graphic counter-cultures.
Leaving behind his drawn deflagrations, the textile allowed the artist to pursue his attachment to the monstrous but, like his banner with an intestine, the ingestion took on a more ritualistic, animistic and transcultural dimension.