Filmed and edited over the course of 6 years, the film explores the artist’s continued questioning of his own sense of masculinity through performances and installations relating to photographs, sham monuments, and family.
Within the film, Benington presents an inherited and inherent promise of masculinity as strong, invulnerable and heroic. Such an impression is most strongly suggested by a hand dodged and burned 4x5” lantern slide of Benington’s Great Grandfather, and by German photographer August Sander’s 1928 image ‘Bricklayer.’ As Benington humorously re-performs these images, through processes which Jean Paul Sartre might refer to as an attempt to ‘incorporate the heroic substance.’ (Jean Genet), it becomes clear that these promises of masculinity are simply follies.
For the performance the artist will contextualise his work through the form of storytelling. In particular, he will further explore the events around outlined in his text based autobiographical cyanotype, ‘Newbridge is an electoral district on the Western edge of Bath’. Though the events referred to are factual, the work recalls a narrative from the artist’s adolescence and as such the work is inevitably coloured by the apocryphal nature of memory.
‘Man the imperfect librarian, may be the work of chance or malevolent demiurges.’ Jorge Luis Borges.
The performance will also explore other works in the show and will open out to dialogue and discussion