About my work
Ben Benaouisse is an experimental visual artist, curator and artistic leader.
Essential to the work of Ben Benaouisse (°1971, Belgium) is his attempt to grasp political, religious and cultural patterns. Before trying out the possibilities of paint and canvas, he had already made his name with experimental theatre and dance performances.
His path is an atypical one, in which he explores diverse media without any academic training. His artistic oeuvre develops around the principle of appropriation and presents a never-ending search for an attitude towards the ‘here and now’: “What can I add to everything that has already been done, as an artist? I am the dwarf on the giant.”
He tests the power of art in our times and investigates its role in our society. His conceptual interest finds a balance in the amazement and the pleasure of creation.
* 10.2020 Curator of Van Eyck Kosmopoliet’s exhibition >>>> POSTPONED
* 09.2020 Biënnale van de ideeën- Menen
* 07.2020 Zomeracademie - De Veerman - Dworpe
* 07.2020 Performance Festival - Duivelsteen, Ghent >>>> CANCELED
* 06.05.2020 G - Minard Schouwburg, Ghent >>>> POSTPONED
* 05.2020 Iedereen Beroemd - Van Eyck Jaar - VRT Television >>>> POSTPONED
* 30.04.2020 Performance - Sint-Niklaaskerk, Ghent >>>> CANCELD
* 30.04.2020 Performance - BTB, Brussel >>>> CANCELD
* 25-26.04 Atelier voor Immateriële Kunsten - Museum D’hont Daenens - Sint-Martens Latem >>>> CANCELD
* 19.04.2020 Hands Against The Wall - Warp, Sint-Niklaas >>>> CANCELD
* 21 - 29.03.2020 Artist-Curator of SUBJECTIEF’s exhibition - Poort 8, Ghent >>>> CANCELD or POSPONED
* 29.02.2020 - De Schrikkelwake - Human rights - Vooruit, Ghent
Hands Against The Wall - Art Rotterdam 2020, The Performance Show, Atelier Van Lieshout (NL)
Camouflage Pearls, Group exhibition, BruthausGallery, Waregem (BE)
Hands Against The Wall, 2O year Collection, S.M.A.K., Ghent (BE)
Het Voorstel - Een Biënnale van ideeën, C.C. De Steiger, Menen (BE)
Wunderkammer for the 21st Century, Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen (BE)
More More More, Solo exhibition, BruthausGallery, Waregem (BE)
Gorious (?) FAILURE, Psychiatrisch Ziekenhuis, Duffel (BE)
Het Vlot, Curator Jan Fabre & Joana De Vos, Oostende (BE)
Art Traces, Curator Mehdi-Georges Lahlou, Tourinnes (Walse Brabant) (BE)
Research on “Arabo-European Mythology”, Roger Raveelmuseum, Machelen-Zulte (BE)
Duet exhibition with Agnés Maes, Kristof De Clercq Gallery, Ghent (BE)
ART-TRACES across the Western Front, Site-specific, Langemark-Poelkapelle (BE)
Brown chair, White wall & Black Tl lamp, Open Call D-Art, Mechelen (BE)
Postcards from Goes, W45, Goes (NL)
Refugee Camp Paintings, W45, Goes (NL)
A Belgian Politician, Marion De Cannière Gallery, Antwerp (BE)
Go Home Man, Edition S.M.A.K., Ghent (BE)
La vérité en peinture / Manifold Positions and Possibilities in Painting, Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels (BE)
SUMMERTIME, Kristof De Clercq Gallery, Ghent (BE)
Homeless Paintings, TTTT, Ghent (BE)
See Brown, listen White & leave Black, Loods12, Wetteren (BE)
Friends and Neighbors - opening new studio Koen van den Broek, Merksem (BE)
SINT-JAN, Curator Jan Hoet & Hans Martens, Saint-Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent (BE)
SEDIMENT (ENAME ACTUEEL), Curator Hans Martens, Pam Museum & other locations, Ename (BE)
Electrified 02 – Hacking Public Space S.M.A.K. – Arts center Vooruit, Ghent (BE)
Jan Fabre revisited, S.M.A.K., Kunst Nu, Ghent (BE)
Idiotenfreiheit, Curator Tatjana Pieters, OneTwenty Gallery, Ghent (BE)
Art D-KOR, Stenersen Museum, Oslo (NO)
INVASIF Terminal, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Arras (FR)
INVASIF (details), Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem (NL)
Invasif IV, Oerol Festival, Terschelling (NL)
INVASIF III, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)
INVASIF II, Caermersklooster, Ghent (BE)
- Hands Against The Wall, MuZee, Oostende (BE), 2018
- Hands on Wall, Tique Art Space, Antwerp, 2016
- Go Home Man, Nucleo, Ghent (BE), 2015
- CAMPAIGN MAN, Facebook, 2014
- KARFOUR, Ghent – Evergem – Lokeren (BE), 2010-2015
- Jan Fabre Revisited, S.M.A.K., Ghent (BE), 2009
- 24H/24H Strike against Barbarism, Victoria Theatre, Ghent (BE), 2007
- Multi Solo Provisoire, Ghent (BE) – Terschelling (NL) – Kortrijk (BE), 2004-2005
- Let’s Dance, Ramallah Cultural Palace, Palestine, 2004
- Het is Lam, Première Minard, Ghent (BE), 2004
- Het is Lam, Bourla, Antwerp (BE), 2003
- INVASIF, L’Aeronef, Lille (FR), 2001
- POLYTIEK, with Stef Van Bellingen, Coup de Ville / Sint-Niklaas (BE), 2013
- Deel II, Inleiding: Curated by Philippe Van Cauteren & Ben Benaouisse, Group Performance, S.M.A.K., Ghent (BE), 2015
- Deel I, Inleiding, Curated by Ben Benaouisse & Philippe Van Cauteren, Cultuurcentrum Belgica, Group exhibition + performance, Dendermonde
- MADE IN STUDIO MADE IN STUDIO, with Hans Martens, Arts center CAMPO,
Ghent (BE), 2011
- Black Nights – Blue Words (I had a dream), with Dolores Bouckaert, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurne (BE), 2008
LUCA – School of Art, Brussels (BE), 2016
L’Arsenic, Lausanne (CH), 2007
Contact Theater, Manchester (ENG)
A.P.A.P. (European Network), Brussel – Zagreb – Kortrijk – Berlin, 2008
DE BANK, Victoria Theatre, Ghent (BE), 2006-2007
La Condition Publique, Roubaix (FR)
Alexis Dallièrefonds, Victoria Theater, Ghent (BE), 2001
From the Flemish Community, 2014
From the Flemish Community, 2013
Art auction, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurne (BE), 2014
Art auction, Loods12, Wetteren (BE), 2015
Art auction, for the benefit of Psychiatrisch Centrum Wagenschot (‘previews’ in Francis Maere Gallery), Ghent (BE), 2015
2019 - Hands Against The Wall, Museum S.M.A.K., Ghent (BE)
2016 - Untitled #3 & Untitled #4, Flemish Parliament, Brussels (BE)
2013 - Sparadrap on wall, Permanent work, Troubleyn Theatre Jan Fabre,
2012 - INVASIF (2001-2012), Permanent work, Erfgoedcentrum, Ename (BE)
Provinciale Prijs Beeldende Kunst, Roger Raveelmuseum, Machelen-Zulte (BE), 2016
CANVASCOLLECTIE, Nominated, BOZAR, Brussels (BE), 2012
Best Belgian dance solo, Nominated, Alain Platel / Victoria Theater, Ghent (BE), 1994
DANCE & THEATRE EXPERIENCES
In 1993 Victoria launched the Ja, wacht! youth project as part of Antwerp ’93 and at the request of the King Baudouin Foundation. Auditions were held all over Belgium. Mohamed ‘Ben’ Benaouisse (°1971) was one of the participants in Liège. He was selected and came to Ghent. In 1994, a few months after the opening night of Ja, wacht!, Ben participated in The Best Belgian Dance Solo at the first Victoria Festival. He wan the second prize. Immediately afterwards Alain Platel invited him to perform as a dancer and actor in the Victoria production Moeder en kind (1995).
In 1996, together with Helmut Van den Meersschaut and Noël Van Kelst, he founded the dance trio Latrinité. This company started out at the second Victoria Festival as part of ‘Korstmos’, a platform for new young talent. This presentation later resulted in the performance Dansé Donsé Dan Dan. Two more productions by the same company followed: Auri Sacra Fames (1997) and Limbus Patrum (2000).
In the meantime Ben also worked as a dancer and choreographer in House of Bamboo (1997, Huis a/d Werf, Utrecht) and as an actor in Lifestyle (1998, Victoria, directed by Paul Carpentier). In 2001 he was asked to participate in Lies Pauwels’ first production, Club Astrid(Victoria), and, together with the Latrinité team, created the residence project Carte Blancheat L’aeronef in Lille. Ben surprised everyone with his moving installation/ performance Invasif. This resulted in Victoria giving him an Alexis-Dallière fund so that he could continue his in-depth research. With this fund he created the theatrical installation Het is Lam.
In 2003 he directed Mauricio Kagel’s Variété (a play for circus artists, produced by One-off) and worked as an actor and dancer in Scan, directed by Michel Schweizer (La Coma, Bordeaux). A year later he appeared in Renaud Cojo’s Dernier spectacle avant (ouverture)(2004, Ouvre Le Chien, Bordeaux).
In that same year he also founded his own company, Invasif, whose first production, the Multi Solo Provisoire dance solo (conceived and performed by Benaouisse himself), opened in the summer of 2004 (Oerol Festival, Terschelling, NL / Gentse Feesten, Ghent).
The controversial production Het is Lam, (Victoria) had its première in 2005. In this piece he linked together several diverse artistic disciplines (installation, performance, video, dance, theatre, words, music, etc.), while avoiding what is usually regarded as multidisciplinary.
In January 2006 he presented No Production in Nieuwpoorttheater. In 2007 he danced in Bolero Variations by Raimund Hoghe.
From dance & theatre to visual art and performance
The installation/performance Invasif (2001, Lille) during ‘Carte Blanche’ (the Latrinité residency in Lille) was an important link in Ben’s artistic career. Here he took the first important step towards more personal work, a mixture of theatre, performance and installation. In the years that followed he set out an artistic trajectory in which he increasingly manifested himself as a visualartist.
Invasif is a research based on Benaouisse’s personal life. He catalogues, takes stock of and structures a large collection of objects, writing, videos, photos, sounds, movements and memories in a ‘total installation’. He regards Invasif as a quest in various stages. Each stage is specifically created for and in the ‘performance location’.