artist / participant
Opening September 17, 18-21pm
Sadie Benning started making experimental videos as a teenager in 1988. The low-fi black and white videos explored aspects of identity, language and memory. Improvising with materials that were immediately available at the time, Benning constructed moving images from found objects, drawings, text, performance and personally shot footage. The form, content and poetics explored in these earlier video works has expanded over the past two decades, as the artist continues to wrestle with evolving, political, conceptual and material questions. More recently, Benning has produced wall-mounted works that trouble the categories of painting, drawing and sculpture. These works begin with a tracing on a single panel of wood. The component parts of the image are cut-out, layers of aqua-resin are applied to these forms, which are then sanded and molded, and finally fit back together to form the final composition. When assembled, the gaps between the pieces becomes a conceptual space of personal projection: "There is a space between the panels that is the third space I'm talking about – the place where you have to picture something else. You have to imagine the line that is missing. It's just air, and shadow."
The objects in Mind’s Eye were produced with the intention of exploring this generative liminal space between language and experience. Each of the works in the exhibition has a single word title: Night, Park, Thoughts. While these words may literally describe some part of the images contained within the work, they also highlight the associative nature of these compositions and the viewer’s own hermeneutic impulse. Unlike many of Benning’s previous exhibitions, Mind’s Eye was produced without a specific narrative in mind. What emerged in the production of the work is a series of poetic connections that explore the profound limits of the utility of language to describe identity and represent individual experience.