Tim Bennett

Beletage – images and text 15th September – 27th October

 

fullsizeoutput_1c51Tim Bennett, Beletage, installation view.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c52Tim Bennett, Beletage, installation view.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c40Tim Bennett, Still Standing, 2017,185 x 55 x 55 cm, plaster, steel and lacquer.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c43Tim Bennett, Untitled (Viel Geld und kleines Glied, kauf er sich doch ne’ Glockenbachsuite), 2017, 246 x 246 x 80 cm, plaster, plasterboard, wooden frame and  steel.

 

fullsizeoutput_1c49Tim Bennett, Untitled (Wir wollen euch nicht ihr huhren Kinder), 2017, 50 x 50 cm, plaster, plasterboard, wooden frame.

 

For his solo exhibition at GiG Munich, Tim Bennett (b. 1973, Rochdale) has created a new body of work, consisting of one large freestanding panel, Untitled (Viel Geld und kleines Glied, kauf’ er sich doch ne Glockenbachsuite), one small type painting, Untitled (Wir wollen euch nicht ihr huhren kinder) and one column-like structure resting on tangled steel, Standing Still. The starting point for the work was the process of gentrification, especially visible in the surrounding Glockenbach area. The plasterboard panels incorporate graffiti slogans, including one seen recently on the side of the newly built Glockenbachsuiten; Standing Still resembles a re-enforced concrete column, as found on a building site, toppled over during a rampage.

Despite its political aspects, the work is not intended to be a critique of the capitalist system of which gentrification is only a symptom. It is neither the kind of critical political art found many cultural institutions, nor a provocative gesture along the lines of urban artists such as Banksy. Instead, by acknowledging the all-subsuming nature of capitalism, Tim Bennett works from within. He takes a graffiti slogan and quite literally, by carefully remaking it in plaster, gentrifies it.

His work engages with the structure of disavowal characteristic of corporate anti-capitalism. Such is the time in which we live that most if not all anti-capitalist gestures have been incorporated within the capitalist system, alternative cultures given space in the mainstream. Graffiti slogans are a particularly ineffectual kind of protest, precisely because they offer us the space for rebelliousness – who doesn’t find these slogans a little bit funny? – while leaving us free to participate in capital exchange without guilt or shame. Their kind of protest leaves our status as consumers intact.

By incorporating corporate anti-capitalism structure of disavowal within his work, Tim Bennett’s Beletage demonstrates how we are participants in the process of gentrification we allegedly deplore. He does so however, with humour and good grace.

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