The Flat Planter, 2022 series at the National Academy of Design, New York, (https://nationalacademy.org/calendar/materiaexhibition) and Priska Pasquer Paris, Paris.
Excerpts from Everyday to Come at Priska Pasquer Paris.
Benson is known for her interventions into found objects, literature, and works of art, reconfiguring them into questioning reassemblies. Her multidisciplinary approach spans the mediums of sculpture, sound, digital media, and prints. The works in Everyday to Come (https://priskapasquer.art/paris-jane-benson-genaro-strobel-everyday-to-come-priska-pasquer-gallery/) see Benson cutting and fracturing fake plants and books only to reassemble them through her investigative practice. Methods of destruction are used specifically as strategies of regeneration – opportunities to reassemble, redesign, and reinvent existing entities. In her Faux Faux series, the artist explores a prevalent illusionist trend: artificial plants are, unfortunately, in vogue. Today, copies decorate living spaces appearing deceptively, persistently real. Nature is not represented, but imitated, whereby reality and fiction merge in such a way that they become indistinguishable.
Benson cancels this unification of reality and simulation that the artificial flora suggests by cutting the leaves into geometric, unnatural shapes, such as, triangles and squares. Indeed, cutting reduces the artificial plant to fragments of itself, severing it from the familiar to embrace a new interpretation or future reality for the fake. The process of transformation is made visible and gives the mass-produced flora its own individuality; no element is congruent anymore, creating a more “authentic” rendering of illusory nature by the artist. Benson’s hanging Flat Planter works are an extension of this work into an architectural scale, and a wry comment on the garden wall that has come to represent eco-architecture. Hand-cut artificial leaves are attached to flattened 3-D line drawings of plant pots arranged into lattice patterns and cut out of aluminum sheets.
A series of black and white prints complement Benson’s sculpture. The photographs document the silhouettes of the unabashedly fake flora. The images are reminiscent of photograms, which were created out of a desire for an economical, true-to-life image. Unlike photography, however, a photogram does not involve a camera, light-sensitive paper is exposed directly causing the uncovered areas of the paper to darken, thus, each image is unique. In mimicking the photogram, Benson’s photographs once again reinforce the game of masquerade and show that the perceptibility of the real is accompanied by a multitude of simulated gestures.
Click on the image to enlarge
Installation view of the exhibition Everyday to come at Priska Pasquer Paris. From left to right: Faux Faux (Paradise Palm), 2022, hand-cut artificial palm tree, planter, foam, 84 x 46 x 40 inches; Faux Foux (Daisies), 2022, archival inkjet print on paper, 30 x 23 inches; Faux Faux (Tulips), 2022, archival inkjet print on paper, 30 x 25 inches; Faux Faux (Paradise Palm), 2022, archival inkjet print on paper, 30 x 20 inches, Faux Faux (Paradise Palm), 2022, archival inkjet print on paper, 30 x 23.5 inches