May 24 — July 15, 2022
Will Benedict, Angry Chimp (still), 2022. Courtesy: the artist
Working within a process of deconstruction, hybridization, and recomposition of the image, the artist Will Benedict uses various media—from painting to video, from drawing to photography to curating exhibition projects—in order to reflect on the constitutive elements of representation and on the ways of interpreting and framing it, both visually and conceptually. The compositional and material heterogeneity of his works—often characterized by the coexistence of multiple semiotic levels—creates a sense of engaged ambivalence. In particular, his video works depict worlds that subvert both the codes of popular entertainment and the conventions of the avant-garde embedded in music videos, fashion spreads, YouTube tutorials, magazines, advertising, television, and film.
The exhibition title, Idéal Pain (literally ‘Ideal Bread’ in French, but also ‘Ideal Pain’ in English), plays on the inverted order of words and the double meaning between the two languages spoken by the artist, who was born in the U.S. but lives and works in Paris. His is a reference to the ‘gig economy,’ to unsteady work conditions, to a hit-and-run organization of employment, and also to the food industry as an indicator of inequality, hyper-consumerism, need, waste and scarcity.
As the artist states: “I’m interested in collaging things I find with things I make. I get to create worlds with fuzzy boundaries where we aren’t sure what exactly is going on or who is actually responsible for any of it. As I have mentioned on multiple occasions, sometimes I feel empowered to unfold an object's history and sometimes the object enfolds you, takes over your body and you're just a kind of zombie. But either way I’m the one who’s responsible.”