The Foundation of doubt is a vibrant venue dedicated to apprenticeship, exhibition, expression and interrogation on art via its collection of contemporary art, a lively site where the “Fluxus” spirit still reigns.
Brought into being by the artist Ben, the Foundation of doubt is neither a museum nor an art center but rather an original site that stresses the importance of non-importance, the details of life, boundless possibility, ideas, humor, theory, the manifesto, action and finally, as imagined by Ben, “total art”. The Fluxus spirit reigns.
Court aperçu de la Fondation du doute par Ben
The Fluxus state of mind
The word “fluxus” (flux, current) was chosen in 1961 by George Maciunas to designate the current of “non-art”. More generally, Fluxus is a state of mind, a space for freedom, friendship and sharing in which artists of all nationalities may find kindred spirits. For close to twenty years, the current has remained faithful to its credo: provocative humor, demolition of the limits of artistic practice and the desire to abolish any boundary between art and life.
Works related to the Fluxus movement are exhibited on two floors. A visit consists in a labyrinthine stroll from one room to another in the company of Allan Kaprow, Wolf Vostell, Philipp Corner, Nam June Pail, Daniel Spoerri, etc. In enclosed areas, visitors are caught unawares and works are discovered unexpectedly. On the second floor, by contrast, different historic realizations are brought together in large-scale (400 m²) open space: George Maciunas, George Brecht, Yoko Ono, John Cage, Robert Filliou, Joseph Beuys, etc.
Installed in the cloister during the 19th century and totally glazed, the exhibition pavilion is dedicated to a program of special events, exhibits, lectures and conferences, video projections, etc. The modular 210 m² area is in direct connection with the spaces and collections of the Foundation of doubt. Unrestrictedly accessible, free of charge.
The court of doubt and wall of words
Access to the Foundation of doubt is afforded by the Court of doubt, adjacent to rue de la Paix. The visitor is ushered in by a monumental Wall of words, a public commission carried out by Ben in 1995. On a surface 30 meters long and 10 meters high, the artist put up close to 300 written tablets. The Court of doubt is also a venue suitable for summer events (concerts, performances, encounters, etc.).
The Fluxus Café
Integrally conceived by Ben and designed as a work of art, the Fluxus café is a convivial site and a venue suitable for artistic programs. A bar, exhibition tables, sofas, libraries and a stage are freely accessible and precede the visitor’s ascent to the floors and the permanent collection.
A training center
The art school and the music and theater conservatory of Blois-Agglopolys regularly associate themselves with the Foundation of doubt, of which the premises are shared, so as to favor innovative teaching opening broadened horizons: video art, happenings and performances, active music, experimental cinema, etc.
Some key figures for the Foundation
1,500 m² of exhibition space
Focus on Ben Vautier
Born in 1935, Ben (his real name is Ben Vautier) is an artist known for his creative actions and writing tablets. His activity is at once a reflection on art at its most fundamental and a means of illuminating daily life at its most peculiar. Spheres usually as distant from art as ethnicism, ego and truth have been incorporated into Ben’s work.
Formerly a museum of the object
The Foundation of doubt and the works assembled by the Italian collectors Gino di Maggio and Caterina Gualco have superseded the museum of the object and its Eric-Fabre collection. For sixteen years, the museum has exhibited more than 130 works by major artists representative of dominant 20th-century artistic movements.