Benoît Platéus’ paintings, collages, objects and videos draw upon appropriating imagery from a range of materials including comic books, film posters and advertisement. Using digital and analogue techniques, the artist experiments with accidental image results by reproducing, translating, or distorting the original. In doing so, Platéus primarily draws on the unpredictable disturbances, errors, and traces that emerge from the relentless transformation process of the materials. The exhibition gives an insight into Platéus’ cross-media practice and presents a selection of works created over the last 20 years. Many of the works on display constantly shift between material object and fiction-forming entity, alluding to the relationship between image, illusion, and the space behind it. In a series of paintings, Platéus takes movie posters that he bought online and, on their backsides, works on the traces and remnants showing through from the front, thus giving a new presence to the image elements that are no longer tangible. In another series of works, Platéus uses a photocopier and digital image editing software to deconstruct the image and text composition that defines the typical format of comic books. As a result the artist disrupts the linear sequence of the narrative strategy and at the same time reveals a suggestive power that surpasses its designers’ original intentions. In his latest series, consisting of large-format frottages, Platéus transfers the surface structure of urban fragments from New York and Los Angeles onto canvas. Named after people, the paintings attain a subject status and invite the viewer to create a link between name and content. In this respect Platéus’ works take on a narrator position, forming echoes and resonances among each other and undergoing a constant reappraisal.
The exhibition at Bonner Kunstverein is Platéus’ first solo exhibition in Germany and was created in collaboration with WIELS, Center for Contemporary Art in Brussels, which previously hosted the artist’s first retrospective (February 2 – April 28, 2019). Both exhibitions are accompanied by the artist’s first monograph. The exhibition is supported by Wallonie-Bruxelles International. Benoît Platéus (b. 1972, Liège) lives and works in Brussels. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including WIELS, Brussels (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016); Mu.ZEE, Ostende (2013); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2006).