Fondation du doute Ben&Fluxus à Blois

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The Court of Doubt

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The Court of Doubt and the Wall of Words © Jean-Philippe Thibault

 

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Ben is still at work on his Wall of Words, a public commission of the town of Blois and the French ministry of culture and communication inaugurated in 1995; the wall now occupies the entire court, which it has transformed into a site of creation and dissemination: ongoing, unfinished, never-ending work.
 

The word « Entrez (Enter) », appearing in neon on the large red door at the center of Ben's written tablets and alternatively going on and off, invites the visitor to pass through the Wall of words.
 

The monumental entrance (30 meters long and 12 meters high) prepares and conditions visitors for something decidedly out of the ordinary: the 313 written tablets of Ben, posted on the wall as maxims on life, art, doubt, the ego, languages, love, words... Time and time again, they compel the spectator to question himself and his surroundings: “Not everyone can be a genius”, “No art without truth”, “Time is stronger than art”, “Love is words”, “My greatest concern, it's myself”... As in Montaigne's chamber, the Wall of words amplifies questioning through quotations from other artists chosen by Ben: “Even when nothing is happening, something is happening” (John Cage); “Art is what renders life more interesting than art” or “You must force yourself to do what you don't know how to do” (Robert Filliou); “Art pisses me off” (Érik Satie), “We must always have two ideas, one of which kills the other” (George Braque)... An ardent defender of minority languages in France and throughout the world, Ben perceives each idiom as a unique vision, while words serve as vehicles for ideas and cultures. With the Wall of words he engages the passer-by or visitor, compelling him of her to remain wakeful and aware, to question himself, to doubt everything commonly considered as certain. Words as raw material for artistic expression...
 

The court is transformed into a site where ideas are critically explored and our doubts are articulately expressed: “Creating is doubting and doubting is creating”: That is the the maxim inscribed on the frontispiece of the Foundation of Doubt.
 

A stage in front of the wall inaugurates a new vocation for the sites: musical and theatrical performances, miscellaneous forms of expression further enliven the court. Picnic tables welcome visitors; artists in residence with their caravans, temporary creations and miscellaneous facilities fill the spaces and convert the court into the unique convivial site imagined by Ben.

Fondation du doute - Ben & Fluxus collection
- Public Entrance : 14 rue de la Paix /41000 Blois
- Administration Offices : 6 rue Franciade
02 54 55 37 40