Benjamin Seror

Digressions series

This second title in the Digressions series finds artist Benjamin Seror discussing with Keren Detton, Julie Pellegrin and Eva Wittocx the origins of his performance The Marsyas Hour and the multi-layered cultural references underlying his practice.

Drawing on the figures of poet, singer and storyteller, Seror enjoys acting himself in performances combining theory and narrative. He presents the outcome of his thinking about historical transmission via the possibility of staging memory in both real and fictional terms. Playing on language in an exploration of how fiction impinges on reality, he also adds music to his performance arsenal.


Ranging from improvised performances to the novel Mime Radio and an installation of models for the Alfred Jarry Archipelago exhibition at Le Quartier in Quimper, The Marsyas Hour took the form of a three-part spin-off for the Playground Festival at the M-Museum in Leuven, with the mythological Marsyas asking art historian Lucie to help him save the world. Seror and his new group The Masks take the couple's story further in Lucie et les évidences and its blend of stand-up, cabaret and concert. 


In the course of the discussion the three interlocutors consider the evolution of the Seror oeuvre, its roots in pop music, comedy, the movies and literature – not to mention 18th-century French painting – as well as the importance of collecting stories and of improvisation/digression as a starting point. Convinced of the power and performativeness of language and "the way memory gives an overall view of people, places and periods", he looks forward to "an equivalence between reality and fiction, in the sense that our ability to invent our living environment will always be indexed to the quality of the fictions we produce."  


Digressions collection 

Digressions is a series of conversations with artists. Initiated by La Ferme du Buisson - Centre for Contemporary Art in association with Captures editions, the series accompanies the art centre's exhibition programme.  Taking as their starting point a group discussion, these publications offer an insight into the thinking, the references, the methods – and sometimes the meanderings – that fuel a creative process.



Keren Detton is director of the Grand Large Hauts-de-France Region Contemporary Art Collection. She was director of Le Quartier Centre for Contemporary Art in Quimper, Brittany, from 2009 to 2016. 


Julie Pellegrin is director of the Ferme du Buisson Centre for Contemporary Art and artistic director of the Performance Day festival. 


Eva Wittocx is head of contemporary art at M-Museum Leuven and curator of the Playground festival. 


Publication details

authors Benjamin Seror / Keren Detton / Julie Pellegrin / Eva Wittox
series Digressions
publisher Captures éditions / Ferme du Buisson
general editor Valérie Cudel in association with Julie Pellegrin
editorial coordination Céline Bertin
graphic design Claire Moreux
copyeditor Claire de Smet
english translation John Tittensor
publication date 2017
languages French / English
format 21,5 x 13,5 cm
pages 38
price 6 €
isbn n° 978-2-9558778-2-1
printing Imprimerie Simon, Ornans (France)
distribution Les presses du réel