Game of chess

Creator: 
Jean Mas
Ben
Performer: 
Jean Mas
Ben
Bibliographical sources: 
cité in Jean Mas trente ans de Performas, Alain Amiel, 2008, p.106-107
cité in Performas, 40 ans d'art d'attitude, Alain Amiel, 2010
Producer: 
Jean Mas
Ben
Occurence: 
Objets: 

Le jeu d'échecs concocté par un pâtissier.

Technique description référence: 
Le jeu d'échecs concocté par un pâtissier.
Jean Mas, Ben | trace de la performance "Partie d'échecs", 1994 | © Jean Mas | courtesy Alain Amiel
Description: 
Ben and Jean Mas play a game of chess in public in which they must eat the pieces they take. Ben wins, perhaps because he is naked (reference to the photograph by Man Ray of Marcel Duchamp), which greatly distracts his opponent. “I’ve already forgotten the first chess game done with Ben! I intentionally said ‘done with’ and not ‘played against,’ because the outcome didn’t make a bit of difference to the pleasure of the game. Do-Done-Dreamed. The dream is to set up an imaginative world to preside over the set of rules in a game. It’s playing with the rules. It’s also being in the Sanskrit root of the word Art; anyway, Duchamp reminds us of this by maintaining that the word art comes from Sanskrit for ‘to do.’ God is dead, but the unbearable void of the soul remains in the center of the game of chess. For us, taking our place at the chessboard means transposing the truth within Art and having fun with it. Ben opened his voice and through it the spirit of sensitivity to the little things produced by the group Fluxus and also Takako… It’s the ‘Fluxusation’ of the game of chess that keeps bringing us together, Ben and me around the black and white squares. Ben set the tone: of course, there is no oil or ointment to mark the line, because faced with Duchamp the chess player, appropriately, we took to the road—forgive me for saying it—like champs. And so, the black and white square of Malévitch melted with the urinal of Duchamp, our irony of a school dropout.”
Le damier est en œufs de lump. Les pièces sont en pâtisserie
Jean Mas, Ben | photographie de la performance "Partie d'échecs", 1994 | Le damier est en œufs de lump. Les pièces sont en pâtisserie | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR | courtesy Alain Amiel
Prendre un pièce, la manger littéralement. Le perdant doit dévorer le damier
Jean Mas, Ben | photographie de la performance "Partie d'échecs", 1994 | Prendre un pièce, la manger littéralement. Le perdant doit dévorer le damier | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR | courtesy Alain Amiel
Mas, le pâtissier, Ben
Jean Mas, Ben | photographie de la performance "Partie d'échecs", 1994 | Mas, le pâtissier, Ben | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR | courtesy Alain Amiel
Jean Mas, Ben | photographie de la performance "Partie d'échecs", 1994 | © Jean Mas | photographie : © DR | courtesy Alain Amiel