Benedict Drew’s most ambitious public presentation in the UK goes on show at the Whitechapel Gallery this summer.
Benedict Drew (b.1977) works across video, sculpture and music, creating large-scale multimedia installations which comment on the effects of socio-political and environmental issues.
The Trickle-Down Syndrome is a new work comprising five connected yet distinct spaces which draw on wide-ranging references, from Hollywood director Busby Berkley’s 1930s stage-sets to the Surrealist landscapes of Max Ernst, continuing the artist’s exploration into materiality, where the physical and digital meet.
Through a dizzying array of vividly coloured screens, experimental compositions, large-scale banners, a tiered stage and an accompanying audio narrative, these works come together to take visitors on an emotional and sensory journey through the exhibition.
The title refers to a 1980s economic term used to describe the belief that benefits for the wealthy will eventually trickle down to the rest of society. Drew imagines its effects by using hand-drawn motifs, sculptures and kaleidoscopic projections.
Benedict Drew says:
“The work contains a sense of the handmade, idiosyncratic, provisional and fantastical. I am interested in the feeling of submersion in social and environmental despair, being overwhelmed by images, confused by the shifting status of objects, disoriented by layers of history, trying to generate a state of being where you can escape, and seeing escape as a potent form of resistance, ecstatic protest.”
Drew studied at the Slade School of Art, London and also composes and performs music. For Art Night 2017 on 1 July, Drew turns his installation into a musical score, collaborating with experimental musicians on a live, durational and climactic improvisation on the stage which forms part of the installation.