Heads May Roll
19 February – 20 April 2014
For his first solo commission at Matt’s Gallery, Benedict Drew presents a large-scale installation. The work scrutinises the effect and intent of mediated images, synthesised voice and the fractured narrative of instructional speech.
This immersive exhibition attempts to make sculptural the absurdity of a life spent staring into a screen and the social anxiety induced by ‘smart’ objects via an alternative sci-fi stage set comprising of a landscape of objects, sound and projection. Its content responds to the super saturated, psychedelic properties of LCD technology and the disorientating potential of electronic sound. Drew critiques contemporary consumption via a fantastical future world in which the image, word and body are exhausted.
Referring to Henri Chopin’s essay Why I Am The Author of Sound Poetry and Free Poetry (1967) where the “all-powerful Word, the Word that reigns over all…(we) listen to it everywhere describe us and describe events, tells us how to vote, and whom we should obey”; Drew acknowledges society’s increasingly passive digestion of the subliminal voice of consumerism and offers a noisy palate cleanser, an escape route, a portal to an alternative world.
Heads May Roll is accompanied by two new limited edition prints Headroom, 2014 and No Body, 2014.
Benedict Drew (b. 1977) works across video, sculpture and music. Recent solo exhibitions include: The Onesie Cycle (VIP), Phoenix and Two Queens Gallery, Leicester; The Onesie Cycle, Rhubarba, Edinburgh; Now Thing, Whitstable Biennale; This Is Feedback, Outpost, Norwich; Gliss, Cell Project Space; The Glass Envelope, Zabludowicz Collection, London and The Persuaders, Circa Site / AV Festival, Newcastle upon Tyne. Benedict is participating in the 2014 Adelaide Biennale, Worlds in Collision, curated by Richard Grayson.
Drew completed an MFA at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2011. He was lead artist for Chisenhale Gallery’s Propeller Project (2012), a LUX Associate Artist (2011/12), and was shortlisted for the 2012 Jarman award.
Benedict Drew is represented by Matt's Gallery, London.
Heads May Roll is generously supported by The Henry Moore Foundation. Matt’s Gallery is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and founding member of Common Practice.