This looks utterly incredible — wish I was going to be in town for it!
Exhibition opening next Tuesday 11 January 2011, 6-8pm at The Paper Mill, Angel Place (Ash St.)
Une Fête dans le Papier
Une Fête dans le Papier represents the rhizomatic coming together of two artists’ practices eventuating in excessive celebration, bittersweet in its intimacy with tragedy.
Benton has continually returned to Versailles in her photographic works, preoccupied with Marie Antoinette and her synonymity with decadence culminating in ruin. Clapham has long held a fascination with the life and art of Jean-Michel Basquiat which she began to explore in her show at Firstdraft earlier this year in which she deconstructed Basquiat’s famous “Crown” symbol in its base triangular form, also combining her ongoing interest in the mystical properties of mathematics.
In this recent collaboration Benton and Clapham propose to marry royalty by birth and royalty by imagination, constructing a Versailles-inspired ballroom entirely out of cardboard such as is associated with the early life of Basquiat the street-artist/dreamer: Basquiat’s cardboard box for a bed, Marie Antoinette’s palace. In this necessarily flimsy set the two will hold a dinner party, a feast of unimaginable scope, which will be in full view of the public (most likely consisting of starving artists and hangers-on) who will be invited to later riot over the leftovers of the important guests in a literal free-for-all. The work is part of the wider continuum that is the fascination with consumption permeating wasteful western society, a preoccupation particularly with feeding which has lead to all manner of food porn (in pop culture and in “art”); fine food being both a return to the kind of lust over high culture that has caused such environmental disaster and also a possible way of restoring the health of the society and the planet with its focus on the seasonal the best of nature.
Exhibition continues to 15 January 2011