performance

Benjamin Seror: Mime Radio, The Very Ambitious Final Chapter
26 Jun 2014

"This is the story of an ancient voice. This is the story of how Marsyas, poor Marsyas, recovered his voice millions of years after having lost it". 

Location
Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum
Time
8 - 9:30 pm
Language
English
Admission
Entrance price to the museum + €2,50 cover charge
Reservations

It is necessary to make a reservation. Send an e-mail to reservations@stedelijk.nl, stating your full name, e-mail address, telephone number, and the date and time of the program you want to attend.

Photo: Benjamin Seror
Photo: Benjamin Seror

The Stedelijk Museum, in close collaboration with Kunstverein Amsterdam, is proud to present the final chapter in the performance series Mime Radio, which consists of an ongoing staged novel by artist Benjamin Seror. The story begins in a bar located in Los Angeles, the Tiki Coco. The bar is the center of the story where every night, a group of people attend the "Challenging Reality Open Mic" during which the audience is invited to take the microphone to present some new tools, techniques or ideas that could extend reality or at least shake it at it a bit. This meeting will see the growing friendship between four characters: Angie, Bernhard, Benjamin and David, as they move together to the Solog House built by one of them in the Hudson River Valley. This is also where they discover they have been followed by Marsyas, a character from ancient Greek mythology that lost his body after being defeated in a musical contest against the god Apollo. The characters proceed to help Marsyas to recover his voice, his very ancient voice, without knowing what disaster this recovery could unleash.

Each chapter of the novel has been staged through a cycle of improvised performances which are subsequently transcribed to be published in their entirety at a later stage. One of the main concerns of this project is the use of a public event as a possible writing technique, following the principles of Cinema Vérité as described by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin when collaborating on Chroniques d’un été (1960), a film about the impact of different camera movements on a situation and what its presence enables that would not otherwise be possible. In these films, the audience replaced the camera and the central question becomes: what would change for an author if s/he were to write a story directly addressed to a particular audience?

The main subject of this novel is language itself. What are the possibilities of words, and how can they be used in ways that produce situations? These questions are also paramount to all the different protagonists of the story who come together at the Tiki Coco. At this bar, they organize nightly events where they stretch the limits of language to describe tools that challenge reality. Most of the characters that appear in the novel come from other novels such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses, as well as living artists with whom Seror is in dialogue.

The Chapters X and XI will be recored at the Kunstverien on the 11th and 20th of June. For more information on these performances, please visit www.kunstverein.nl.

More information about the artist

In his performances, where speech is the principal subject and tool, Benjamin Seror often narrates long improvised stories inspired by a mix of phantoms of literature, art history and everyday adventures. The stories he tells often lead the audience far into the heart of the Inferno or to dancing all night long to the delicate sound of the Perfect Kiss by New Order. Also a musician, Seror plays different instruments, backing up his narratives with emotive songs that switch modes of language, underlining the complexity of what it can do. Recently, he played Performances in Witte De With, ICA Philadelphia,Théâtre National de Chaillot, Paris, le Plateaux, Frac île de France, Bétonsalon, Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers and Palais de Tokyo. He participate to the collectives exhibitions L'interprète, Plateau Frac île-de-France, Paris curated by Xavier Franceschi, Susan Vérité, des Méthodes, Crac Alsace, Curated by Elfi Turpin, A spoken Word Exhibition, Jeu de Paume, curated by Mathieu Copland, LA Existential, LACE, Curated by Marie de Brugerolles The Ever Changing Meaning, Walter Phillips Gallery,Banff, Curated by François Aubart, Mindaugas, 11th Baltic Trienniale, This is not an art show either, Fabra y Coats, Barcelona, curated By David G. Torres, A terrible beauty is born, Lyon biennale, 2011, Curated by Victoria Noorthoorn, Run Comrade, the old world is behind you, Kunsthall Olso, curated by Will Bradley,  Repetition Island at Centre George Pompidou, Paris and The clifford Irving Show at Objectif Exhibition, Antwerp, both curated by Raimundas Malasauskas, Basket not basket, curated by Elfi Turpin at Jousse Entreprise Gallery. With the band Concert, he played at Kadist foundation in San Francisco, REDCAT in Los Angeles, Aspen Art Center and Artist Space in New York.