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Jane Benson

Page 1 | Biography

1.Naked Swan, 2006.
1.Naked Swan, 2006.
My work is about material and identity transformation. The driving force behind the work is a fascination in the transformation of meaning through representation and the reinvention of context. Working assiduously against reality, I appropriate design of culturally significant objects to question their original conditions and purpose.

Over the past few years I have examined how nature is represented in the built environment; floral installations in urban and corporate landscapes offer a critique of the lack of authenticity in nature and identity in contemporary culture. For example, I created a series of fake plants for the World Financial Center (image 6). Store bought artificial trees were altered to look artificial; each leaf cut into an unnatural shape creating unabashedly fake trees.
2.Plucked And Fucked
2.Plucked And Fucked
More recent work, such as The Chronicles of Narcissism, (see Naked Swan and Mirror Globe) integrates mirrored surfaces into installations and sculptural objects – swans, furniture, clothing, and globes – to address the contradictions implicit in narcissism.
4.Mirror Globe (Map Of The World)
4.Mirror Globe (Map Of The World)
6.Happy Faux Flora, 2004. artificial trees
6.Happy Faux Flora, 2004. artificial trees
My series of Disco Globes and Mirror Globes promote globalization as a fractured reflection of the individual, addressing how globalization affects identity. Mirror Globe (Map of the World) is an antique map, the east and west hemispheres of which have been covered with pieces of mirror. The work calls attention to the limitations of any perspective. Though its flatness makes the surface of the world visible in a single glance, the globe is no longer true to its form.

In Underbush , 2004 hanging foil garlands festoon over a ceiling. However, their meaning is morphed by repainting over the normally flashy foil colors with the matte colors found in camouflage. Drab greens, deep browns and black refigure the familiar context of celebration, subverting the role of decoration, creating in its place an oppressive canopy of deception. Another related work hangs beneath the canopy, in which I deconstruct a camouflage fatigue jumpsuit. Cutting along the outlines of the camouflage colored contours, I return the powerful military garb into a flaccid form of foliage that drapes and dangles on the hanger. With a nod to the Beuy’s felt suit, I deconstruct the fatigues and the inherent power relationship that they represent, and hang them out to dry.
The works stress that it is only through the destabilization of existing systems of knowledge that unimagined possibilities for the future can surface.
3.Disco Globe
3.Disco Globe
1994 Edinburgh College of Art, BA (Hons) Painting
1997 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA
Solo Shows:
2007 Underbush, Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver
2006 The Chronicles of Narcissism, Black and White Gallery, Chelsea, New York
2004 Underbush, Roebling Hall, New York
2002 The Materials At Hand, Michael Steinberg First New York at Karen McCready Fine Art, NY
1999 Painting and Decorating, The Chicago Project Room, Chicago
Selected Site-Specific Installations:
2006 Soft Sites, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philidelphia
2005-7 Beyond Reason, Seibel Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
2005 Occupied, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, Queens, NY
Imitation Day, Jamaica Flux, Jamaica Center, Jamaica Center for the Arts, Queens, NY
2003-4 The Waiting Room, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY
2002-3 Glory FFlora, NEW VIEWS: World Financial Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council & WFC Arts & Events project, NY
Jane Benson
383 Bleecker street
NY 11237
New York, NY
New York
North America

T: +1 646 642 0234

Web Links
Thierry Goldberg projects, New York
Black & White Gallery, New York
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