Artist: Julie Béna
Exhibition title: Have you seen Pantopon Rose?
Venue: Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest, France
Date: October 7 – December 30, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain
French artist Julie Béna’s project Have you seen Pantopon Rose? Takes roots in theater, antiquity, mythology, literature, nightlife. The character of Rose is defined in relation to her place of existence and the people around.
Have you seen Pantopon Rose?’s scenario is composed by objects, texts, gestures, musics which follow two entities: Rose Pantoponne, and the Chorus.
The Chorus is main, explicative voice, the one who sets the tone. Rose Pantoponne, a quasi-mute character embodied by the artist herself, is the gestures, the manipulations, the cocktails, the dance.
Originally, Rose Pantoponne appears in the last chapters of Beat Generation’s famous novel Naked Lunch through the wanderings of mind of an old junky. Have you seen Pantopon Rose? was constructed from this appearance, escaped from William S. Burroughs’ text, towards the incarnation of Rose. At the same time, Julie Bena begins reading Homer’s Odyssey and get back to reading Greek tragedy. For her, it’s a bit like if Jack Kerouac crossed Homer On the Road. Thus the Beat Generation meets the Ancient tragic. Have you seen Pantopon Rose? it is a mix between a cabaret, a performance and a musical. Rose Pantoponne is not a patchwork but rather a surprising, sweet-salt, sour and bitter cocktail. The recipe is progressively generated. Elements are added, mingle to constantly complexify and lengthen the taste. The project for Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain is the final opus of five research years during which Rose and the Chorus were created and performed in London, Montreal, New York or Los Angeles.
It was about time for Julie Bena to gather those many experiences and such an epic adventure in one place. She releases a new film, partially shot in the art center, in which Rose is unveil though words, dance and music. The film goes with a corpus of sculptures that dialogue. Neither the environment nor the decoration of the film, the pieces are for Rose Pantoponne what the Cowardly Lion and the Tin man are for Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. They are companions of road that will continue later without her.