Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

wf

Benedict Drew Installation

AA
View Discussion
Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014) Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014). Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014) Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014) Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014) Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014) Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014) Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine Benedict Drew, Zero Hour Petrified (2014) Image courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London. Photograph by Chrissy Irvine

In its materials, assemblage and delivery, 'Zero Hour Petrified' seems almost unaware of distinctions between aesthetic/social traditions or art practices, operating across and between disciplines: installation, television or movie sound-track, underground comic, sculpture, portraiture, formalist abstraction, trance party or conceptual art. It implies a disinterest in anything that might look like a category.

Christchurch

 

Benedict Drew
Zero Hour Petrified

 

26 March - 17 April 2014

There is a bright-red projected sign in this installation that states ‘Suffering from Realness.’ It delivers a mocking promise of salvation in a gallery space of virtual ‘otherness’ - stacked with an orchestration of brightly coloured, rapidly changing manipulated images of the natural world transformed into objects of amusement - scientific diagrams/comic-book graphics, out-takes from 70s science fiction TV shows, and a spatially shifting soundtrack that somehow frames and coordinates the experience within the space of the Ilam Campus Gallery.

Visiting UK artist Benedict Drew‘s Zero Hour Petrified cross-examines issues around misinformation and distraction in the modern world. The title deals to the misnomer of ‘Zero Hour’ - employment agreements in the United Kingdom in which the employer is not obliged to provide minimum working hours- an employment agreement with a fundamental mistruth about offering an individual work.

Yet, if this installation is touching upon an abyss between the reality of experience and the fabrication of promises in the 21st century, it does so by positioning the gallery visitor in the here and now of its forms, materials, surfaces, colour, sound, equipment, light and imagery.

Drew‘s exhibition seems as appreciative of its make-shift plinths and tables, power cords and junction boxes, as much as it does the unreality of its projected colours and animated imagery. The gallery space is reconfigured as a kind of gleeful gallery technician’s maze. There is ‘stuff’ over much of the floor, orchestrated against and alongside DVD players, stacked screens, trolleys and junction boxes, guiding a way through and around its shifting network of sensory experiences and stimulus. Often this places the gallery visitor in the position of guilty participant. Projected stroboscopic images in close proximity to one another, capturing attention - but which one to focus upon? It is not a choice the visitor is left to make as the rapidity and persistence of Drew’s iconography renders such decisions impotent - just one less decision and/or distraction to deal with.

In its materials, assemblage and delivery, Zero Hour Petrified seems almost unaware of distinctions between aesthetic/social traditions or art practices, operating across and between disciplines: installation, television or movie sound-track, underground comic, sculpture, portraiture, formalist abstraction, trance party or conceptual art. It implies a disinterest in anything that might look like a category, instead alluding to numerous visual connections between materials and images. A looped and meandering orange extension cord renders mundane the integrity of any virtual realities in this installation as its configuration and colours play off a projected image of a diagrammatic ‘eyeball’ and an adjacent orange revolving portrait propped against the gallery wall. And while visually and spatially orchestrating the many components of his show into a sum greater than its parts, Drew‘s dissemination of sound from selected intervals in the gallery occupies an essential role in their reconciliation, serving to locate the visitor in the moment of its space.

Zero Hour Petrified touches upon the accelerating slippage in perception between the reality of experience and the promises of virtual realities. It appears to argue for both empowerment and well-being in the human experience of the here and now, yet does so in an assemblage of images, colours, sound and objects that intimate that Aldous Huxley was probably right. Do not underestimate humanity’s endless appetite for distraction.

Warren Feeney

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by Warren Feeney

wf
Saskia Bunce-Rath, I turn him into shadows, 2018, Embroidery thread on calico fabric (framed), 195 X 140 mm

Bunce-Rath Tapestries

CITY ART DEPOT

Christchurch

 

Saskia Bunce-Rath
I am near the forest, but never in it

 

4 September - 24 September 2018

wf
Suspended from ceiling: Bing Dawe, Downstream under Aoraki -- Tuna with Barrier, 2018

Mid-Canterbury Water Issues

ASHBURTON ART GALLERY

Ashburton

 

Thirteen invited artists
The Water Project

 

12 April - 22 June 2018

wf
Peter Robinson, Fieldwork, 2018, Artist’s studio materials, including wood, wire, paper, metal, nails and magnets.  Courtesy of Peter Robinson, CoCA and Daniela Aebli

Robinson’s Fieldwork

CENTRE OF CONTEMPORARY ART TOI MOROKI

Christchurch

 

Peter Robinson
Fieldwork

 

3 March - 13 May 20018

wf
Martin Poppelwell, Jerusalem III, 2018, paint on linen, 2000 mm x 1750 mm

Poppelwell in Christchurch

THE CENTRAL

Christchurch

 

Martin Poppelwell
 EFG

 

1 February - 4 March, 2018