Carroll / Fletcher is pleased to present Anxious, Stressful, Insomnia Fat, an exhibition by British artist Helen Carmel Benigson.
Inspired by a recent health app purchase that monitors women’s bodies, Benigson’s latest exhibition interrogates the flatness prescribed by the Internet onto the body, confronting the strange continuum existing between our dematerialised, virtual lives and our ‘real-life’ selves. She creates highly visceral and sensual environments which reference pop culture, contemporary game playing and animation. Sexually charged images and sounds based on her own body and rapper-persona (Princess Belsize Dollar), or actors and dancers who act as her standins, often take centre stage in frenzied performances.
From projected videos of flesh to digital-print cut outs of flattened bodies, the works in Anxious, Stressful, Insomnia Fat all address core concerns in Benigson’s practice which emphasises performance within the space of the screen, and explores the negotiation of identity, territory and embodiment within cyberspace.
Her exhibition at Carroll / Fletcher follows on from her 2014 exhibition and residency Weightloss Utopias at Site Gallery, Sheffield which centred on issues of weightlessness and the perception of physical mass within online space. During the residency, Benigson staged a series of real and scripted weight-loss support groups that took place within a multi-screen video installation. These weight‐loss support group members then became avatars – digitalized versions of themselves within her videos, questioning the dematerialisation of the body through coding and information. At Carroll / Fletcher, Benigson will present four new video works made especially for the exhibition in a psychedelic digital carnival, which repetitively enacts the blurred boundaries between performer, producer and spectator, intrinsic to online video sharing.
Helen Carmel Benigson (b.1985, London) was recently involved in Platform, a residency programme at Sheffield’s Site Gallery and the LUX Associate Artist Program. Recent solo exhibitions include: Performa.13 After Hours, New York; Going to Africa via a Machine Called a Sunbed, Meantime Project Space, Cheltenham and the Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town; and Palm Trees and Poker Players at UCA, Farnham and Breathe Harder, a site-specific performance at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Recent group exhibitions include: Ericka Beckman: Image games – work in context at Tate Modern, London; Videonale.14 at the Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Lagos and Odessa; Videocracy at The Centre for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv and The House in the Sky at Concrete, Hayward Gallery, London. In 2014, Benigson was awarded a Clarendon Scholarship to support her DPhil at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.