Benjamin Seror

The Marsyas Hour, 2015—2016
Regroupement Pied Carré

The literary, performative and video project The Marsyas Hour began over a year ago. The new version of the piece developed for La Biennale de Montréal, which goes beyond Seror’s earlier interventions in terms of both length and stage format, is based in part on his novel Mime Radio. Surrounded by props on a minimal yet heterogeneous set, Seror recounts the baffling story of his main character, Marsyas, who, through a remarkable reversal, sees his brain stolen by a figure right out of the Robert Bresson film Pickpocket. This performance was filmed and edited to produce a video whose outlines go beyond the framework of the document or archive. The recording of the performance is intended to replicate the technical and visual properties of sitcoms. The tight angles, editing pace and limited set space make the work look like a pilot episode. In discussing the project, Seror evokes the hypothesis of a film made by ancient Greeks, like a Homeric narrative, in which the emphasis would be on the narrator rather than the images described in his narration.

Storytelling, staging strategies and memory (real or fictional) stand out as the main themes in Seror’s work. Linking the actions tos the text, and more generally to language, is fundamental to his performative practice, which adapts to different presentation venues. The Montréal context provides particularly relevant ground for tackling these linguistic issues.

Produced by La Biennale de Montréal for Le Grand Balcon.
Presented by La Biennale de Montréal in collaboration with Studio 303 and Le Livart.