Benoît Piéron: Slumber Party is the first book by the French artist, published on the occasion of his 2023 commission at Chisenahle Gallery, London. Continuing his practice of applying a vital softness to the hard spaces of the hospital, this publication is inspired in both form and content by waiting room magazines as a site of intervention and diversion. Installation views accompany a visual essay by Piéron documenting the processes behind the commission. A series of activities have been devised by artists ClayAD, Paul Maheke, Roxanne Maillet and Piéron. Each invites the reader to either draw on or rip out pages to help pass the time; making and remaking the book anew for each reader.
The book considers how to transform the often stale or distressing atmosphere of a medical waiting room with a sense of possibility and renewed imagination. These activities are accompanied by texts from Chisenhale Gallery's Director Zoé Whitley, the exhibition's curator Oliva Aherne, and ClayAD, as well as a conversation between Piéron and artist Paul Maheke that traverses subjects from the fallibility of healthcare and the work of Félix González-Torres, to the allure of vampires and soft toys.
Benoît Piéron (born 1983 in Ivry-sur-Seine, France) works on the creation of moments, installations, and objects exploring the sensuality of plants, the boundaries of the human body, and the temporal nature of waiting rooms. His creative journey encompasses various practices, including patchwork, existential gardening, and wallpaper design.
Having a long-term disease, Benoît Piéron has a very close relationship with the hospital ecosystem. He has developed a practice that not only draws inspiration from this environment but seeks to give plasticity to disease. To do this, Benoît Piéron uses as raw material used hospital sheets from different hospital departments. Far from the romantic heroism of the usual metaphors for malady, Piéron places himself in a joyous gray zone. Through his art, he endeavors to explore these uncharted territories, viewing it not as a burden but as a potential source of creative expression.
Central to Piéron's practice are contemplations on the experience of waiting and the complex interplay between health and illness. His work delves into the subtle boundaries that exist between presence and absence, the interior and exterior, the human body and the architectural structures that surround it, and the temporal aspects of medical institutions that mold the patient experience.