People Like Us (Vicki Bennett) First Person, Fourth Wall
A Hallwalls Artists-in-Residence Project (HARP)
Friday, 11 September – Friday, 23 October 2020
HALLWALLS CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER, 341 DELAWARE AVE. BUFFALO, NY 14202
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm | Saturday 11am-2pm
Curated by Carolyn Tennant |Radio content Programmed by Vicki Bennett
This multi-tiered project features an onsite new film and 6 channel audio collage work in the Hallwalls gallery, a virtual film retrospective, and a series of online micro-commissions programmed by the artist, where collaborators across the field of visual, audio and textual art respond to the subjects of first person / the fourth wall. The retrospective screening features archive and new content from Vicki Bennett’s 30 years of creating work under the name People Like Us. To coincide with the exhibition is a new second edition of her artist’s book The Fundamental Questions co-authored with Gregor Weichbrodt, available exclusively in house at Hallwalls, all made possible in part with a major grant to HARP (Hallwalls Artists-in-Residence Project) from the Multidisciplinary program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal agency, with additional support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Visual Art Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), M&T Bank, and Erie County.
The commissions and elements from the onsite exhibition are archived at WFMU from 11 September 2020, alongside visual elements on the accompanying web pages, which will be linked to with QR codes in the accompanying gallery brochure.
Dina Kelberman, Buttress O’Kneel, Mark Hurst, Scott Williams, Irene Moon, Jasmin Blasco, Matmos, id m theft able, Sheila B, Ergo Phizmiz, Yon Visell, Porest, David Shea, Gregor Weichbrodt, Carlo Patrão, Tim Maloney, Gwilly Edmondez, Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly), People Like Us, Peter Jaeger, Ranjit Bhatnagar, Adriene Lilly, Micah Moses, Andrew Sharpley, Andie Brown, John Kilduff (Let’s Paint TV) & Hearty White.
Fourth Wall, a new site specific wide screen movie, reflects upon the illusion of separateness. The title addresses the experience of illusory duality constructed by the mind, which is replicated through the lens of the camera, the stage, and the surface of the page, movie or computer screen. Through the viewing, cutting and editing of hundreds of pre-existing movies, Vicki searches for multiple and parallel narratives and collages these together to create a flowing stream of consciousness, attempting to breakdown this wall and reveal what she perceives as a greater reality and oneness beyond relativity. First Person is a new multichannel audio piece where over 75 participants recorded themselves reading from the book The Fundamental Questions which Vicki Bennett co-authored with Gregor Weichbrodt, where thousands of user profiles from the web were parsed and matched according to four existential questions in life. The result is a chorus of people looking beyond themselves for their perfect mirror, calling from thousands of isolated portals, bonded by their almost identical searches, questions and intentions creating an aura of interconnectivity.
Hallwalls Artists-in-Residence Project (HARP) is a successful multidisciplinary artists residency program, which is funded in most years (with the exceptions of 1996–97, 1997–98, and 2004–05) by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; in most years by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (for visual & media artists); and from 2008 to 2010 by the Nimoy Foundation (for visual & media artists). Some musicians in residence since 2010 (Roscoe Mitchell in 2010, Wadada Leo Smith in 2012) have been supported in addition or solely by the Jazz Presenting Program of Chamber Music America (CMA). The goal of the project is to support invited artists through professional stipends, materials and fabrication budgets, workspace, access to equipment and technical support, public presentations of their work in solo exhibitions, site-specific installations, screenings, and concerts, and interaction with local artists and communities through collaboration, lectures, master classes, workshops, and in-school residencies. Coming next year, three new HARP projects, made possible with major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Cullen Foundation.
HARP Artists 2019-2020
Douglas Ewart, George Lewis, & Douglas Repetto
People Like Us (Vicki Bennett)