Two Rooms Gallery,
Auckland, New Zealand
30 November - 22 December 2012
Omnipolis I installation shots and video stills
Embowered I installation shots and video stills
Gregory Bennett’s video works are part of an ongoing series that employ 3-D animation to create views of intricate digital colonies in which can be read as simultaneously utopian and dystopian. His diverse sources include the photographic studies of humans in motion by Eadweard J. Muybridge, the elaborate geometric choreography of 1930s Hollywood musical choreographer Busby Berkeley, the looped animations of nineteenth century optical toys, Renaissance depictions of the body, and the aesthetics of the contemporary digital video game.
In this exhibition Bennett presents two new works:
Omnipolis I (2012)
Developing out of the Utopia series of videos created over the last year, which featured continuously panning horizontal views of digital landscapes, Omnipolis I presents a Babel-like structure, with a viewpoint which tracks vertically upwards.
This often tenuous structure is populated by groups of assembled and reassembled Sysiphus-like replicated figures organised into units of performed actions, loops, and cycles, creating ongoing series of patterns of movement vocabulary. The never-ending loop situates the figures in a kind of eternal present, relentlessly mobile, rooted in modules of asynchronous time in which temporal progress is both enacted and arrested.
Embowered I (2012) is a four-channel video work in which a series of figures are depicted in enveloping and at times relentlessly encroaching enclosures. Here the sonambulant characters are passive, subject to environments, which are both protective and destructive, sheltering and smothering.
Bennett’s work is represented in the collections of Chartwell, University of Auckland and the Wallace collection, with three of his works, entitled Digital Multitude, currently showing at the Audio Visual Room at the Pah Homestead, James Wallace Arts Trust. Recently his Utopia series has been shown internationally, with an exhibition at Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia: Gallery 101 The Real-Fake: Simulation Technology After Photography 2012 , and also screened at ISEA 2012, Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work has featured in Public Art Exhibitions in Auckland; Impossible Choreographies IV was shown during The Living Room Project, Metropolis Dreaming, curated by Andrew Clifford and Crowd Control, an interactive work, was presented at the Aotea Centre as part of Digital Art Live.
Upstairs at the same gallery is the video work of Gregory Bennett whose computer-generated work involves legions of identical figures marching, sitting and stomping along in continual movement. In this latest and largest of his works, aptly named Omnipolis, the figures occupy a great tower. It is a gripping piece.