7 June – 10 September 2017, Gallery 1
Art Night: 1 July 2017
Benedict Drew’s most ambitious public presentation in the UK goes on show at the Whitechapel Gallery this summer.
Benedict Drew (b.1977) works across video, sculpture and music, creating large-scale multimedia installations which comment on the effects of socio-political and environmental issues.
The Trickle-Down Syndrome is a new work comprising five connected yet distinct spaces which draw on wide-ranging references, from Hollywood director Busby Berkley’s 1930s stage-sets to the Surrealist landscapes of Max Ernst, continuing the artist’s exploration into materiality, where the physical and digital meet.
Through a dizzying array of vividly coloured screens, experimental compositions, large-scale banners, a tiered stage and an accompanying audio narrative, these works come together to take visitors on an emotional and sensory journey through the exhibition.
The title refers to a 1980s economic term used to describe the belief that benefits for the wealthy will eventually trickle down to the rest of society. Drew imagines its effects by using hand-drawn motifs, sculptures and kaleidoscopic projections.
Benedict Drew says: “The work contains a sense of the handmade, idiosyncratic, provisional and fantastical. I am interested in the feeling of submersion in social and environmental despair, being overwhelmed by images, confused by the shifting status of objects, disoriented by layers of history, trying to generate a state of being where you can escape, and seeing escape as a potent form of resistance, ecstatic protest.”
Drew studied at the Slade School of Art, London and also composes and performs music. For Art Night 2017 on 1 July, Drew turns his installation into a musical score, collaborating with experimental musicians on a live, durational and climactic improvisation on the stage which forms part of the installation.
Notes to Editors
Benedict Drew (b. 1977, Australia) lives and works in Whitstable and Margate, UK. He holds a BA in Fine Arts from Middlesex University and a MFA from Slade School of Fine Art. He recently had solo-exhibitions at Centre for Contemporary Art (Derry, 2016); Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool, 2016) and Art on the Underground (London, 2015) and has participated in numerous group exhibitions, among others the British Art Show 8 (Leeds, Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton, 2015-2016); Institute of Contemporary Arts (London, 2015), Jerwood Space (London, 2015); Baltic 39 (Newcastle, 2014); Adelaide International 2014 (Adelaide, 2014), and Museum of Arts and Design (New York, 2013). He is represented by Matt’s Gallery (London).
Art Night is a new annual contemporary arts festival that transforms London for one night. Each year, a leading cultural institution and a curator work in a different part of London, exploring the area’s history, culture and architecture. Art Night is a project by Unlimited Productions supported by international auction house Phillips.
Art Night 2017 is presented in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery and curated by Fatos Ustek. The festival takes place on 1 July 2017 across historically significant sites in East London, including Whitechapel Gallery.
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Art Night is administrated by ArtCity Nights, a registered charity no 1164449
Exhibition curated by Emily Butler, Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator, with Candy Stobbs, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm; Thursdays, 11am – 9pm.
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