Artist Ben Woodeson makes work using himself as human litmus paper, seeking a balance between attraction and repulsion, he develops pieces that physically challenge and confront. He constantly experiments; commingling concept and intuition, investigating the physical and psychological qualities of materials through a process of trial and frequent error. How can basic rules of physics be exploited to assemble simple sculptures that straddle a line between stability and instability, action and inaction?
The works seek to keep the viewer poised in a state of slight unease, situating the human presence in a hyper awareness of their surroundings and the physical space occupied by their own bodies. Poised, positioned; simultaneously occupying a possible moment of action and of potential consequence. The relationship between viewer and work is symbiotic, each potentially affected by the other.
Can you describe your practice in a few words?
Challenging, confrontational and sometimes ephemeral sculptures. Racers that exist yet are on the edge on non-existence. What can or cannot be shown.What goes too far or not far enough?
What is your earliest memory of art?
Ha! As a seven year old, being dragged around Italy's amazing treasures by art obsessed parents, sad to say I was bored stiff. Not a complete waste, some of it must have gone in.
What does this sort of space bring to your work?
An interesting convoluted architecture that begs to be played with. Twists and turns, edges and angles, textures and faults.
Does the environment in which you exhibit your work change how your work is perceived?
It will change the aesthetic experience, but the work is clearly not domestic in nature, it's not functioning as some sort of masquerade. I think that it sort of stakes it's claim and functions as art, whatever that is!
What was your first experience of King's Cross?
Brilliant adventures hanging out in a long-gone back-packers drinking club, eons before the area got spruced up!
What is the future for art?
Who can say, but I'm an optimist for this thing that we do.
If you could meet one artist living or dead, who would that be an why?
Gordon Matta-Clark, even after years of looking at his practice, my jaw still drops at his ambition, innovation and sheer balls. Breath-taking and brilliant.
What is your greatest weakness?
Continually re-challenging and experimenting, I'm addicted to it, but should that even be called a weakness?
What was the last exhibition you visited that unnerved you?
Swiss Institute, 'A Sunday in the Mountains', NY, 2013-seriously brilliantly fucked up, claustrophobia a go go!
Who have been your main influences over the years, both in historical and recent terms?
Apart from Gordon Matta-Clark, I've definitely suckled at the teat of Arte Povera. Plus I've always been excited by works like Der Lauf Der Dinge by Fischi and Weiss and artists such as Roman Signer, Chris Burden and early Vito Acconci.
What projects do you have coming up in the future?
I've a bunch of shows coming up, but I'm mainly focused on working with artist Andrea Jespersen developing an international research project and exhibitions for the latter part of this year and next.
Known for challenging and confrontational sculptures, Artist Ben Woodeson has exhibited extensively in the UK, Europe, North America and Japan.Recent exhibitions include the London Open at the Whitechapel Gallery, Obstacle at Berloni Gallery, Twelve-Fisted Caterpiller: Jack Bilbo & Ben Woodeson at England & Co(2014), Hackney Wick Takeover at the Victoria and Albert Museum(2014) and The World Turned Upside Down, Mead Gallery, Coventry(2013)
Trained at Glasgow School of Art he is now based in London. In 2014 he was joint winner of the 2014 Anthology Prize at Charlie Smith Gallery and in 2013 he was awarded the Theodore Randall International Chair in Sculpture, Fellowship at Alfred University, NY, USA.