Maximum Commune (Ugly Business... on the basis of disbelief.)

Guy Benfield

Exhibition Dates
5 July - 21 July 2007

Maximum Commune... utilised the cultural model of the ‘pavilion' juxtaposed with tropes of modernist architecture, examples of hand-built alternative Zome housing originating from Southern California in the 1960s and collectives such as Drop City.

Overview

Maximum Commune... utilised the cultural model of the ‘pavilion' juxtaposed with tropes of modernist architecture, examples of hand-built alternative Zome housing originating from Southern California in the 1960s and collectives such as Drop City. Within these structures, Guy Benfield performed a series of actions, ‘droppings' or situational episodes that re-animated tropes that were once declared obsolete, such as ritual, live action painting in the genre of George Mathieu, the ‘Art informal' movement in France, and the Japanese actionist painting movement - Gutai group. In these performance scenarios Benfield investigated the West Coast Funk Ceramic movement of the late sixties, pottery as an expressionist dialogue and the bourgeois bohemian lifestyle he experienced while growing up in suburban Sydney.

 

Aftermath provided a critical and public focus to the complex relationship of performance and installation art, sharing a genealogy, as they do, in early conceptual and post-object art. Aftermath centred on the ‘aftermath' of performance, or conversely, performance as a strategy for creation of material environments - the bleeding back and forth of active models of performance and its post-life.

 

Over six weeks one of six artists participating from Australia and abroad undertook a performance work in one of the Artspace galleries resulting in the installation ‘aftermath' and collectively creating a dynamic, rolling set of relationships between changing spaces. This program was completed by two discrete performance works by local artists. The project was also accompanied by a set of screenings of international performance documentation in the Artspace Reading Room and a Symposium held at CarriageWorks on Saturday 18 August, 2007.

Guy Benfield, 'Maximum Commune (Ugly Business... on the basis of disbelief.)', performance documentation, Artspace, Sydney, 2007