Psychotically Nice, Ben Woodeson

Psychotically Nice, Ben Woodeson

ARTIST TALK: BEN Woodeson, uOttawa 2018 Artist-in-Residence (AIR)

Thursday, November 29th, 2018, 7:00pm
Ottawa Art Gallery Studio

50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa

This uOttawa/OAG pilot AIR Program will see Ben Woodeson take up residence within the Department of Visual Arts for 2 weeks beginning November 20th, 2018.  He will be exploring 3-dimensional and technological creative art-making resources the department offers and lead students in various workshops and interactions.

Ben Woodeson is, at heart, concerned with traditionally modernist sculptural ideas, exploring and highlighting the physical properties of the materials that he works with. But Woodeson takes modernism’s ‘truth to materials’ maxim to a logical extreme by making the viewer aware not only of the materiality of the sculptural objects but also of the viewer’s very own physical properties: the softness of our flesh is never more apparent than when threatened by the edge of a tensioned sheet of unframed glass; the openness of our nervous system when in proximity to an electric charge; the skull beneath the skin when confronted by a rapidly swinging cobblestone. If a trend in recent art has been to view the artwork as an interaction not between viewer and object but rather between multiple participants – relational aesthetics’ intersubjective understanding of art – Woodeson’s work might instead be described as intrasubjective; making the viewer acutely aware of their own corporeality as the work forces them to rely on their own sense of proprioception. To achieve this, Woodson utilises a – sometimes literal – high-wire act, walking that narrow line that defines the limit of his materials, stressing them with potential energy until the weakest link in a molecular chain gives up and the sculpture’s sense of self is ruptured.

Recent projects include Between One Thing and Another a solo exhibition at William Bennington Gallery in London. CuratingSolid Gone, an exhibition for The Sordoni Gallery, Wilkes-Barre, PA of precarious work by forty-three international artists whose work uses or involves cast iron. He has also recently presented work in the following group shows: New Relics, Thameside Gallery, London and In the Belly of the Beast at Stephen Smith Fine Art in Fairfield, Alabama.
This talk is free and open to all.