Opening: 28.04.2016, 7pm
@ Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain: www.casino-luxembourg.lu
The second instalment of the installation Le bruit des bonbons – The Astounding Eyes of Syria is now on view at Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain. It deals with the power of the language of confectionery and of everyday objects. The work explores the distillations of history and the durability of our legacies from the past. While sweets are a universal communicator that humanise relations between individuals, here it is the driver that has the power to bring people together, to pass on and to recollect. It is through Syrian confectionery that the installation evokes and shares memories that live through time and survive the horrors of war. It weaves both fictional and real connections with time and the world based on shared traditions.
A great many Syrians today find themselves again through their living heritage, collective and individual memories of which initiate the survival of something intangible that cannot be broken, reduced or forgotten. The Louloupti is a real small confection that reminds us of the Qabaqib Ghawar, miniature Syrian clogs made from sugar, the Al-Hamidiyah souk and Booza which now more than ever live in the memories of Syrians in Jordan, France, Canada, Italy and elsewhere. These confections, word objects and links mend our vision and awaken our ability to see and take action. Conceived by Benjamin Loyauté, these narrative sweets are a way of conveying a message, agents of human relations. For centuries the Arab peoples have included sugar in the pharmacopoeia. In the 16th century sugar was sold by apothecaries. Sweets had their virtues that history has not taken up again since.
Discovered in Syria by Max Mallowan in 1937, the “Eye Idol” is a sculpture that still intrigues and whose function has never been truly decided. The design of the small Louloupti figures based on this archaeological find is as speculative as it is tangible. In Damask rose meringue, it may also serve the function of extending time and memory as well as to safeguard the future.
By collecting the words, stories and “memories of sweets” of his Syrian friends on postcards, the artist and designer Benjamin Loyauté is helping to protect a culture whose imprint forms a protective armour. The installation is a fictio-functional experience in which the word objects have a perlocutionary power.
Benjamin Loyauté first used the term semantic design in 2014. He then defined design as a language and developing his first installations around speech acts. He has since begun to reflect on the geopolitics of design, our contemporary societies and all its acts influenced by language, culture, time and space. “The objects are like words and my installations like stories, as much factual as speculative, they reveal our behaviours, affect our certainties and our perception of things”. B.L.
Master class with Benjamin Loyauté for young folks
© Benjamin Loyauté Studio / Photos: Fabrice Schneider