At only 22 years old, French artist Ben Elliot has turned the Parisian art scene upside down. His first solo exhibition, tbh i dunno if i have feelings, led him to the concept of his last show, tbh i dunno if i have feelings 2, which consisted of throwing a party, inviting all the cool millennials in Paris and letting them share pictures of the event (that was under his name) all around the internet to promote himself and his work. We gmail-chatted with Ben about being self-educated, different forms of showing art and future projects.
When did you first come up with the idea of throwing a party as an artwork to promote yourself?
After the first part of my solo show I did in January. I was thinking about doing a continuity; something connected to it but in a totally different form.
Have you been interested in creating art for a while now?
I’ve been doing stuff for two years now. Before that, I was only writing some ideas and thoughts, but I wanted to share them in a different way than words, to try something new.
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Did you grow up in a creative environment, or did you have a group of friends that also did creative stuff?
No, I kind of grew in a lonely way, early detached from my family. I had, and I am having, a self-education – I like to experience everything and that's how I come to art. I guess my imagination is my best friend.
How did tbh i dunno if i have feelings 2 go?
The second edition went really well, I had a lot of fun doing it. It was an intense process. A lot of people came by and made it happen; and all the people involved in it, and in particular my PR and I, recognise ourselves in the final result.
Did you select each one of the attendants? 
Yes, sure. Each person has a particular meaning in it. They were all so different, from different backgrounds and all deeply connected at the same time. It was a celebration of all kinds of creativity. The mood was juvenile power!
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It's interesting that you see it in a way that the artwork itself will still be seen and shared online and by different people that was there, like a non physical gallery.
Yes, it totally makes sense. It was a challenge, like doing something in real life and having an online impact, making everything art – from party to interview.
So what else do you do when you're not planning these things? Are you studying or working at the moment?
These days I'm working on a new installation and on my last book called Unreleased selfies. I'm thinking about my tbh i dunno i have feelings 3 too! The installation will be an evolution of my previous artworks from tbh i dunno if i have feelings. I’m working with transparent supports and including transparent liquid in it.
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Ben Elliot Party, "tbh i dunno if i have feelings 2". Photos : Yulya Shadrinsky. Courtesy Ben Elliot.
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Ben Elliot, 22.01.16 (detail). Transaction : 3 bottles half empty/half full on pedestal. 300 bottles on ice cubes, to consume. Gin, tonic, vodka, Get 31, sparkling water, variable dimensions. Courtesy Ben Elliot & ARTAGŌN.
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Ben Elliot, "t-board", 2016. Helvetica on polycarbonate, 150 x 80 cm. Courtesy Ben Elliot & ARTAGŌN