Sleep Rock - Camden Art Centre

Sleep Rock was the first solo exhibition in the UK by New York-based artist Sadie Benning.

The exhibition’s title evoked a dream state where perception is blurred by the merging of memory, vision and association.

Installed sequentially in the galleries, this new body of work read with a filmic register – frame by frame – as pictures are apprehended from a distance, or seen in detail close-up. An important operation of scale was brought into play, both in the varying sizes of the panels and in Benning’s use of images. Fragments were enlarged or brought closer, photographs dissolved into painterly abstraction and images remainrf mutable, reflecting an indexical relationship to the multiplicity of meanings projected onto them.

Sleep Rock included a series made with a completely new approach to materials: transparencies, analogue photos and digital prints were embedded within layers of resin, enamel and spray paint on wall-based panels. In other works, Benning cut large panels into pieces, layering the components with aqua-resin before re-assembling them to create works that hover between painting and sculpture. Benning’s approach to images, materials and installation revealed a hybrid approach that actively resists categorisation and fixity. This in-between quality reflected decades of enquiry into the operation and influence of cultural material, beginning with Benning’s earliest video works made in the late 1980s and subsequent explorations in drawing, painting and music production. The process of amassing, recontextualising, editing, sequencing, and destabilising both found and original content continues to propel Benning’s current practice.


Images The Artist Events

The Artist

Sadie Benning (b. 1973 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA) lives and works in New York, USA. Benning has had solo exhibitions at Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL, USA (2016); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2017); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (2009), The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2008), Dia Foundation for the Arts, New York, USA (2007); and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA (2005). Benning’s work has been included in group shows including Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon at New Museum, New York, USA (2017); Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; and MuMOK, Vienna, Austria (both 2016); Macho Man, Tell It to My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, Kunstmuseum Basel, and Artists Space New York, USA (2013). Benning has participated in The Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, PA, USA (2013); Annual Report: 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2008); the Whitney Biennial, New York, USA (2000 and 1993) White Columns Annual, New York, USA (2007); and the Venice Biennale, Italy (1993). Public collections include: ICA Boston, USA; BFI, London, UK; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; MCA, Chicago, USA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. USA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; MOMA, New York, USA; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA.

Introductory Talk: Sadie Benning, Kirsty Bell & Mike Sperlinger

Wednesday 18 April, 5.45 – 6.30pm

Ahead of the opening of Sadie Benning: Sleep Rock and Ian White: Any frame is a thrown voice, Martin Clark, Director of Camden Arts Centre, will be in conversation with artist Sadie Benning and Kirsty Bell and Mike Sperlinger, curators of Any frame is a thrown voice.

Educators Social.

Wednesday 18 May, 6.00 – 7.00pm

An evening for educators to visit the new exhibitions Sleep Rock and Any frame is a thrown voice, take part in an informal tour of the show with the education team, and meet other education professionals over a glass of wine.

The team will launch the new Educators’ Resource. This guide provides activities and conversation points for students of all ages and is designed to support educators in structuring a visit to the centre and in planning related lessons.

This event is suited to teachers and anyone working in arts and education.

Exhibition Tour: Sadie Benning and Ian White

Sunday 24 June, 3.00 – 3.45pm 

Camden Arts Centre Curator Gina Buenfeld leads a tour on the final day of the exhibitions Sadie Benning: Sleep Rock and Ian White: Any frame is a thrown voice.