My current research and work examines the notion of community (communitas) as an idealised state; an aspiration for a closeness suggested by communities real and virtual, and how this aspiration can be played out within specific sites. The work examines whether a process of coming together, a unifying of purpose and belief, represents an idealised, separatist position. The work further explorse the notion of the individual in relation to the group, and the ambiguity of whether the group offers freedom or conformity.
Recent performance and video work uses the cinematic convention of the choreographed set piece as a conceptual driver (as well as the build up to the moment of synchronicity and its subsequent dismantling). I am exploring how the set piece has been used to suggest an idealised unifying experience (Busby Berkeley, Trisha Brown, Jim Shaw). This is a development of previous work that employed a gradual unifying of apparently disparate individuals through a common voice and synchronised movements.
New video work to be screened at Swedenborg Society, London, 2013.
Ben Judd uses performance and video to examine his relationship to specific individuals and groups; recently the choreographic and the rhythmic has been used as a method of constructing temporary communities. The work explores how the ritualistic activities of marginalised groups and individuals can be extended into an action realised by actors (one that itself hovers on the border between immersion and a more self-conscious, knowing state), and how, in turn, this action can be interpreted in a moving image work. Positioning himself and the audience as both participant and observer, he engages the grey area between ritual and performance, searching for an unreachable and idealised state of community.
Judd has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, including: ICA, London; Whitstable Biennial; Tokyo Opera City Gallery, Tokyo; The Barbican Art Gallery, London; Royal Academy, London; International Center of Photography, New York; Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany; The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Kunstbunker, Nuremberg, Germany; The Whitechapel Gallery, London; The David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Rotterdam International Film Festival; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; The Chisenhale Gallery, London.
For more information please see www.benjudd.com