A slight breeze rustles through wheat fields while bright yellow women look into tiny pots. Things are the same but different. You can’t see radioactivity. The TV is still on but nobody is watching. Behind the televisions are newscasters blocked from view. Directly above the newscasters at billboard height (high up) are various paintings, a meat factory, a painting of the inside of the body (which in my mind is brown), a painting of Tarzan’s loin cloth. It’s soiled. Another bleak brown horizon. But this is also an active place. Within all this stillness there is a ghost of activity. A young woman with a turtle tattoo leans back in a chair twirling her hair while an 12-legged Monsanto chicken hovers overhead.
If one is to believe the common descriptions of Will Benedict’s works, their predominant motif is that of the “picture in the picture”. Gouache on canvas paintings are embedded in hard foam panels, which are in turn painted or unpainted, life-size cut-out studio portraits are (sometimes) applied and set in aluminium and glass frames. This leads to hybrid structures that make use of just about everything two-dimensional art has to offer: painting, drawing, photography, collage. Even though Benedict’s pictures are based on the method of collage, they do not aim at fragmenting the picture, but on the contrary appear surprisingly homogeneous. Grouped in individual series, they are dedicated to the various conventions embedded in global tourism, the private lives of dining couples, their postcards and tweets, their appreciation and reflections on nationalism in gastronomy and the cable newscasters waiting for them back at the hotel. This repertoire of pictures is the essential content of this exhibition, a starting point from which a sequence of shifts and disentanglements takes place. A new series of videos depicting a photoshoot by Benedict and Julie Verhoeven will be shown with video inserts by Tom Humphreys and David Leonard.
With generous support by Land Niedersachsen, Bundesministerium fuer Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur, Vienna, Lueneburgischer Landschaftsverband and Hansestadt Lueneburg.