...One of the most exciting members of the French surrealists during the 40's and 50's, and up till the present day, Jean Benoît was a performer of unsettling activities, bazaar rituals... most notably the Exécution Du Testament Du Marquis De Sade in 1959. Strange drawings, macabre sculptures, even now he has one eye in the shimmering spectral cities of the dark world, and one eye that casts a pitch black shadow in the sunlight of the everyday. He sees all with his blood that masquerades as a window...
As Andrè Breton wrote, in Surrealism and Painting: "STAND ASIDE to let the Marquis de Sade pass 'in his own likeness' and reinvented by Jean Benoît with all his powers."
Costume for the Execution of the Testament of the Marquis de Sade
A Weapon for Jean Benoît
In the ruined mansions, frequented only by specters and lovers transformed by the midnight's auburn locks and other lunar disturbances, such as when the disheveled Walpurgus Nacht unfolds its sinister robes, or when the walls are a flood of horned owls in the calculus of desperate solutions, the silence unfolds its arms and legs for the wolves to come and dip their tongues into each unannounced whisper... and draw blood. The twins, Umbra and Imago, are discussing their similarities while caressing each others' differences with their knives and their singular methods of escape. They come and go with the thieves; rise and shine with the moths green as sighs...
"I scarcely know you by sight anymore, its been so long, so dark, so filled to overflowing with all the forgotten ones, the mere ciphers left behind..."
"It is not I, my love, but your reflection that shares the distance with the fire between us. Your reflection that is my breath. Your eyes that are my thoughts..."
"And I your shadow, with roses of light in eerie configurations of A SUDDEN TAP ON THE SHOULDER and THERE'S SOMEONE ELSE IN THE ROOM..."
Jean Benoît knows us only too well.