Close © Will Benedict
September 14

Will Benedict presents Pandemonium
The Cycle "Paris Orbital" by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou

As a prelude to the Mike Kelley exhibition opening at the Bourse de Commerce in October 2023, the French curator-writer duo of Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou present Pandemonium, a musical performance by American artist Will Benedict. With live music by the underground Detroit group Wolf Eyes, whose noise intensity recalls that of Destroy All Monsters, of which Mike Kelley was a founding member.  

Pandemonium is the gluttonous chapter of Paris Orbital, a public programme inspired by Parisian Épinal prints served up in a pulp sauce and conceived by this duo of independent curators. This cannibal cabaret pays homage to the culinary vision of Fénéon, the broad thighs of Dodin Bouffant, and the dessert carts of Antonin Carême. While the choreography of the waiters is buried under litres of cream, thick sauces, and pâté en croute, it’s the blood of the animals that triumphs under their stage costumes. Taking his cues from Mike Kelley and the CalArts Mafia, Will Benedict plays with the epic in a seafood platter, the trivial in an œuf mayonnaise, and the idiocy in a soufflé. 

Envisioned in collaboration with gourmet artist Will Benedict, Pandemonium is a musical about an insatiable hunger that envelops the world, from Paul Bocuse’s beef in aspic to Nikocado Avocado’s mukbang on an artificial respirator. The menu of the world’s great capital cities reels on as the planet burns. Ultimately it takes a Californian to poke fun at this picturesque French scene of a voracious feast and to indulge in this bad folklore. For Pandemonium’s chef, preparing a simple tomato is harder than contemplating the infinity of God.

Will Benedict mashes up the penchant for bad modernist silkscreens that depict brasseries lining Paris’ boulevards, posters of the Montmartre café Le Chat Noir that adorn its poorly decorated salons, celebrity pictures of its nocturnal reveries, and morphine fairies, their pockets full of vials. To the sound of the American noise group Wolf Eyes, a cast of revellers from the outskirts work themselves up into a frenzy, ultimately devouring themselves.  

A restaurant with an obscenely long waiting list, Pandemonium is a persona non grata’s bonfire of the vanities. Between a Minnelli-style music hall served up in a ladle and a Grand-Guignol exuberance, shadows of Bibi of Montparnasse, Divine, Mime Marceau, the Muppets, Les Gazolines, André de Lorde, and Manouche cut and eviscerate each other in this bloody ballet. Brains in a mignonette sauce and a tripe broth cooked up à la RuPaul are on the daily menu of this cardboard institution. Pandemonium, or the Rise and Fall of French Cuisine: Bon Appétit!


Cast and crew

Customer: Sofie Royer  

Waiters: Mikaël Camhaji, George Wolfaardt 

Maître d'hôtel: Federico Nessi 

Cooks: Lukas Heerich, Fabian Marti

Customers: Andre Atangana, Hocine Choutri, Nogoflani Fofana, Lukas Heerich, Fabian Marti, PZ Opassuksatit, Maléna Sanchez, Agnès Tassel 

Music: Wolf Eyes   


Curators: Charles Teyssou & Pierre-Alexandre Mateos

Artistic Director: Will Benedict

Choreographer: Delphine Gaborit 

Costume Designer: Alexia Cayre 

Stylist: Myssia Ghosn 

Stylist Assistants: Justine Doméjean & Ivane Voustsinos

Casting Director: Rachel Halickman 

Head of Production: Graham Hamilton 

Makeup artist: Hugo Villard 

Makeup artist assistant: Elora Boccia

Hair stylist: Jean Dorthu 

Hair stylist assistant: Robbe Vermaete 

Pictures: Rob Kulisek & Reto Schmid 


Show in English.

Some scenes in the show may offend the sensibilities of young audiences.


Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou live and work in Paris. Their current and upcoming projects include the exhibition Clowns Kingdom at the House of Denmark in Paris, a publication on gay cruising with HEAD in Geneva, and the research project Arles Terminal City at the Fondation LUMA in Arles. They recently curated Anathemata at Mostyn in Llandudno, Wales, featuring works by Antonin Artaud, Pierre Guyotat, and Sarah Kane, GOREGEOUS by Darja Bajagić at Confort Moderne in Poitiers, and they co-curated an exhibition with Kevin Blinderman on the dandy Jacques de Bascher at Treize in Paris and the Kunsthalle in Bern. Working in collaboration with Dustin Cauchi and Dasha Zaharova, they launched the platform The Opioid Crisis Lookbook in 2020, a publication and exhibition project infused with the culture of narcotics. In collaboration with Rasmus Myrup and Octave Perrault, they created Cruising Pavilion, a series of exhibitions devoted to the links between sexual dissidence, art, and architecture.  

Will Benedict (born in 1978 in Los Angeles) is an American artist who lives and works in Paris. Will Benedict's work combines elements from the world of advertising, choreography, music, collage, and video to question the conditions and conflicts of production and collaboration with a deep-seated sense of sarcasm. His work has been exhibited most recently at the Center for Contemporary Art in Geneva, Basement Roma in Rome, Kunsthall Charlottenberg in Copenhagen, and the ArtSonje Center in Seoul. 

Wolf Eyes is an American noise group founded in 1998 in Detroit, Michigan. The group currently includes John Olson and Nate Young, who have been performing together for more than 20 years. Famous for the strangeness of its musical propositions, Wolf Eyes’ sound is as haunting as it is disturbing. Live, the duo’s noise intensity recalls that of Destroy All Monsters, the improvisational anti-rock group of which Mike Kelley was a founding member.