Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognised as an influential and pioneering figure in the still growing area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specialises in the manipulation and reworking of original sources from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film and radio. People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use. In 2006 she was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. People Like Us have previously shown work at Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, V&A, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Pompidou Centre, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. The ongoing sound art radio show ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU has had over a million “listen again” downloads. since 2003. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.
To date, People Like Us/Vicki has had 5 solo exhibitions and participated in 19 group shows at MAXXI (Rome), HMKV (Dortmund), Centro de Cultura Digital (Mexico), Hatton Gallery (Newcastle), Vitrine (London), alt.gallery (Newcastle), Greene County Council for the Arts Gallery (NY), Peacock Visual Arts (Aberdeen), Pallant House (Chichester), Engramme (Quebec), La Scatola Gallery (London), Changing Room (Stirling), Franklin Street Works (Connecticut), Usurp Gallery (London), University of Greenwich Galleries, Matthew Gallery (Dundee), Edinburgh Printmakers, Millennium Gallery (Sheffield) Leeds College of Art and Sunbeam Studios (London).
Also featured in Sounds Like Silence – 4’33’’ Silence Today (Spectre Books 2012), The Journal of Writing In Creative Practice (Vol 7 Issue 1 2015), The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Design by Tony Gibbs (Ava Publishing 2007), Cutting Across Media by Kembrew McLeod (Duke University Press 2011), Here To Go – Art, Counter-Culture and the Esoteric (Forum Nidrosiae 2014), Incredible Machines by Danny Snelson (avant 2014), and writing for The Wire’s Collateral Damage (February 2012).
For gallery concerts and festival film screenings please also see Selected Performances and Screenings
February-March 2014 – Solo exhibition “Shutter” at Leeds College of Art
July 2013 – Solo exhibition at Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico curated by Kenneth Goldsmith (UbuWeb) as part of his Printing The Internet show
July-September 2011 – Solo exhibition “The Doors of Perspection” at Vitrine Gallery, London
July 2011 – Print edition co-published by Modern Empire and Vitrine Gallery
May-July 2008 – People Like Us Retrospective – alt.gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
January 2016 – Exhibition “Cut-Up” at Franklin Street Works, Stamford, Connecticut, US
August 2015 – Exhibition of We Are Not Amused at Usurp Zone5 Festival, London
March 2015 – Screening of 4’33” and Notations at group exhibition Drawing Towards Sound, University of Greenwich Galleries, London
June 2014 – Exhibition of Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another) at Sheffield Doc/Fest at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
April 2013-June 2013 Modern Empire Print Editions and Works on Paper. Works by Vicki Bennett, Charlotte Bracegirdle, Alec Finlay, Diego Mena, Inken Reinert, and Kelly Richardson. Sunbeam Studios, 79 Barlby Road, Ladbroke Hall, London, W10 6AZ. Mon – Fri 10am to 6pm
August 2012-June 2013 – 2 pieces in SOUNDS LIKE SILENCE Cage – 4’33” – Silence 1912 – 1952 to 2012 – HMKV, Dortmund
April-June 2012 – Radio Boredcast (Vicki’s DO or DIY shows) featured in Transmittal exhibition, Greene County Council for the Arts Gallery, Catskill, USA
Summer 2012 – Prints of Darkness at Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, Scotland
March-June 2012 – part of Vitrine exhibition at Leeds College of Art
Spring 2012 – Prints of Darkness purchased for Pallant House Collection, Chichester for inclusion in their collection in 2012
November-December 2011 – Prints of Darkness at Engramme, Quebec, Canada
May-June 2011 – Modern Empire at La Scatola Gallery
May-June 2011 – Prints of Darkness at The Changing Room, Stirling
May 2011 – “Expanded Video” exhibition, MAXXI, Rome, Italy
November-December 2010 – Prints of Darkness at Matthew Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee
July-Sept 2010 – Prints of Darkness, Edinburgh Printmakers
July-Oct 2010 – In The Long Run: 30 Years of Great Running – Great North Museum: Hancock Newcastle Upon Tyne
September-November 2009 – “Hit The Ground” at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne
May 2007 – 3-screen video installation Work, Rest & Play at Millennium Galleries, Sheffield
People Like Us are currently exhibiting at Maxxi gallery in Rome. It includes a 20 minute screening of a previous People Like Us live a/v set entitled “Live Excerpts“, and also in the gallery space there is a monitor showing/airing People Like Us downloads from UbuWeb, and the video “The Sound of the End of Music“.
The exhibition is called Expanded Video.
21 April – 5 June 2011
curated by Anne Palopoli and Oscar Pizzo
Expanded Video presents an Italian preview of a number of video works and live performances by Jacob TV, Masbedo, Martha Colburn and People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett). Organized in collaboration with the Music for Rome Foundation, the series arises from the confrontation and interaction between different forms of creativity that define a common idiom in which listening and seeing become analogous and equivalent episodes. The works of the selected artists, in which the diverse idioms fuse and integrate perfectly, are linked by a shared emancipation from the ties and conventions of the individual media. Sound becomes narration and the image dissolves in an ever-different rhythm.
MAXXI, Gallery 5
Theorem of incompletion, 2008
5’38” – Music by Lagash, Borgar Magnason – editing Giuseppe Domingo Romano for Except s.r.l. – courtesy Noire Contemporary Art
Masbedo’s work stages the difficulties underlying the relationship between man and woman and the consequent destruction of intimacy: pieces of glass abandoned on a table in a desolate Icelandic landscape are destroyed by shouts and gunfire. Filmed in Iceland, a location in which the limits are tangible, the work tackles the theme of the conditioning to which man is subjected in contemporary society.
THE NEWS, a reality opera, 2011 in progress
17′ circa – Jan Boiten, videos, scenography; Kristen Kerstens, videos – Courtesy Jacob TV
The News is the latest work by the Dutch musician that will be presented at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in 2012. At MAXXI Jacob Tv presents a preview of a selection from this opera in which images taken from the media are deconstructed and reconstructed with a syncopated rhythm.
Dolls VS Dictators, 2010
11′ – Musica/music composed by Greg Saunier (of Deerhoof) and foley sound by Michael Evans – courtesy Martha Colburn
In this video Martha Colburn stages the killing of a number of dictators from history. Thanks to the stop-motion technique, dolls and puppets traverse a fantastic landscape causing the spectator to fall into a surreal world in which the laws that inform reality are overturned.
Cosmetic Emergency, 2005
8′ – Musica/Music Jad Fair, Mick Hobbs, Hilary Jeffery, Coco Solid – courtesy Martha Colburn
Cosmetic Emergency focuses on contemporary society’s obsession with appearance. The idea of beauty is analysed through the presentation of images taken from current affairs and old films, paintings and documentaries. In a collage of sounds and representations the video investigates the motivations that push contemporary society in this direction.
People Like Us/Vicki Bennett
Live Excerpts, 2002-2007
16’27” – courtesy Vicki Bennett
People like us assembles scenes and sound familiar to us from films, documentaries and archive images in a sequence the breaks up the linear cinematographic narration. This work brings together five live tracks of significance from the British musician’s output.
The programme also included a live performance of Genre Collage at Auditorium of Rome.
24 May, 21.00
People Like Us – GENRE COLLAGE
Auditorium Parco Della Musica, Teatro Studio