Benedict Drew: The Trickle-Down Syndrome

Benedict Drew: The Trickle-Down Syndrome
August 21st, 2017
Author: Economic Voice Staff

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.

4. Kaput installation view 1

Benedict Drew – Kaput (Installation View, Quad, Derby) 2015 Photo by Charlotte Jopling Courtesy of the Artist and Matt’s Gallery London

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