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For more than ten years BenJackNash trained and worked providing legal support to those on society's margins - prisoners, asylum seekers, young offenders, substance addicts and mental health patients. His background is also grounded in activism, social justice campaigns and human rights that often involved bringing actions against government agencies and corporations. Much of his artistic practise is a continuation of these experiences whereby the social and the physical are closely intertwined. 

 

An important feature of his work centres around thinking about matter. He expresses his particular understanding of matter through artworks but also explores how this can be useful for creating new areas of knowledge, challenge institutional power structures and to help understand trends in areas such as politics, economics, climate change, social attitudes and values, culture and so on. Essentially he identifies matter as a relationship that oscillates between material and abstract identities which he argues, lies at the very heart of function and perception. Recent projects have worked on themes such as rises in populism, changing perceptions of time and the anthropocene.

 

His work range has included crossing over with particle physics, political science and philosophy. Projects include responding to community vacuums, interactive installations, site and event specific sculptures, film, performance and talks.  The artworks often have a close relationship with their host space - drawing on architectural features and using outside influences to inform the object. An area of immense curiosity concerns ‘identity shift’ thresholds, when things nudge from one state of being to another. He sees these moments and places as profoundly influential that are hard to fathom in the act and can only be deduced through consequences or hindsight.

Texts and writings focus on what he terms 'triple A' or Age of Accelerated Abstractification [sic] and often involves teaming up with other non-art based disciplines. This concerns the idea that we should use the lens of art, aesthetics and physical matter to unravel social and political phenomenon; exploring how culture, values and beliefs are closely comparable to the behavior of material, space and movement.


 

Lives and works in Strasbourg and London

Works with Gallery Radial Contemporain

SOLO PROJECTS

2022      What's the matter with catastrophes? University of Derby - UK     

2021       Is Populism made from Plastic? HEPP #2, University of Helsinki - FL

2021       Invitrineous, Radial gallery, Strasbourg - FR

2021       An Artist in the President's cabinet? Ateliers Ouverts, Bastion XIV, Strasbourg - FR

2019       Almost...but not quite, Radial gallery, Strasbourg - FR

2018       Les Résidus du Vide/ Leftover from the Void, Reichshoffen abandoned synagogue - FR

2016       Council of Europe, Strasbourg - FR

2014       Standby, Zwingenberg public art gallery, Alsbach  - GER

2013       Kayserguet (Kartier Nord), Pavillion Henri-Louis Kayser, Strasbourg - FR

2013       Nour Festival of Arts and Culture, Chelsea Old Town Hall,  installation for launch

                 of festival; Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London  (here)  - UK

2012       Sculpted Colour, Galerie Planet Theatre, Strasbourg - FR

2012       Jeunes Artistes, Galerie Quédar (now Galerie Art’Course), Strasbourg - FR

2012       Book jacket, ‘Islamic Veiling in Legal Discourse’, Routledge publishers (here) - UK

2012       The Council of Europe, wall installation, Strasbourg - FR

GROUP PROJECTS (selected)

2022     25 Kunstlermesse (art fair), Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe - GER

2021      St-Art art fair, Strasbourg ( in assoc. with the city of Strasbourg) - FR

2021       1 jour 1 oeuvre (online), Department of Culture and Arts, Ville de Strasbourg - FR

2019       Summer Exhibition, Radial gallery, Strasbourg - FR

2019       ...lieratelieratel..., les ateliers ouverts, Bastion XIV, Strasbourg - FR

2016       Regionale 17, Cargo, Basel - CZ

2016       Arte Laguna, Arsenale, Venice - IT

2015       Creekside Open (curated by Richard Deacon), APT Gallery, London - UK

2015       The Open West, The Wilson Contemporary, Cheltenham - UK

2014       [In]visible, Shape Gallery, London - UK

2014       Wells Art Contemporary (curated by Richard Wentworth/ Anita Taylor/ Donald

                 Smith), Wells and Mendip Museum - UK

2014        Verve Sculpture Prize, Loud and Western, London

2014        Showcase, Nesta Headquarters, London (here) - UK

2013        Je Crise, Tu Crise, Nous Luttons; Jarnis Médiathèque, Moselle (here) - FR

2013        Aesthetica Art Prize, York St. Mary’s, York (here) - UK

2013        Borders, Iranian Culture Festival, The Art’s Complex Gallery, Edinburgh - UK

2012        Hybrid Identities, Gallery Scoletta di San Giovanni Battista, Venice (here) - UK

2012        Global Village, Bronden Strand Centrum, Copenhagen (here) - DK

2012        Backlash, Soho20 Gallery, New York (here) - US

2012        Hidden cities, Hotel Ripa, Rome - IT

2012        Kodina, Arbeit Gallery, London - UK

2012        Global Village, Château de Sully, Borgogne (here) - FR

2012        Global Village, Projekt  72, Alkmaar - NL

2012        Cultural Identity, Palazzo Albrizzi Gallery, Venice - IT

PRIZES & AWARDS

2022.     Tango&Scan, with Blackleaf/ ATTA02, project winners - FR 

2022      25th Karlsruher Künstlermesse Prize, exhibited finalist - GER

2020     Individual artistic creation (aide individuelle a la création), Grand Est region - FR

2018      Bastion XIV, studio attribution, Municipalilty of Strasbourg - FR

2017       La Dînée, Accélérateur de Particules, Strasbourg , project winner (here) - FR

2017       Individual artistic creation (aide individuelle a la création), Grand Est region - FR

2016       Arte Laguna, Venice, installation and sculpture, finalist, jury Sabine van der Ley/ Miguel Armado - IT

2016       IEAA, Dubai (art fair),  shortlist - UAE

2015       Xerxes Sculpture Prize, Serpentine Gallery, London, selected finalist - UK

2014       Shape Open, London, finalist, jury Yinka Shonibare - UK

2014       WAC, Somerset, finalist, jury Richard Wentworth - UK

2014       Verve Sculpture Prize, London, runner-up - UK

2013       Aesthetica Magazine Art Prize, three dimensional design & sculpture, finalist - UK

2013       Design and Artists Copyright Society award - UK

2012       Aesthetica Creative Works Competition, finalist - UK

2012       Young Artists’ Prize, Galerie Quédar, Strasbourg, winner - FR

2022/ 2019/ 2018/ 2015 Les Ateliers Ouverts, ‘ Parcours Choisis’ (selected artist), Strasbourg - FR

PERFORMANCE & TALKS

2022     What's the matter with a bit of violence? (talk + performance)

                Violence and catastrophes in an age of uncertainty, University of Derby - UK

2022      Artists in the Presidents Cabinet #2 (performance), Ateliers Ouverts, Bastion XIV, Strasbourg, FR

2022      Why science needs metaphor (talk), DNA Our Stories, Warwick Arts Centre - UK

2021       What's the matter with politics? (talk + performance) 

                Emotions, Populism and Polarisation, HEPP conference, Univ. of Helskinki - FL

2021       What's the matter with politics? Democracy and Populism (in the age of covid), CAPPE, Univ. of Brighton - UK

2020     What's the matter with Art? (talk)

                Research in the arts the arts in research; Cultural Literacy in Europe, Univ. of Lodz - PL

2020     What's the matter with decay? (talk), Aesthetics of Decay, LCIR, St. Anne's college, Univ. of Oxford - UK

2020     Culturgest, Anthropocene Campus Lisboa: Parallax (CIUHCT/Max Planck Inst./ HKW)

2019      What's the matter with politics? (talk)

                The EU and the Politicisation of Europe 8th Edition (talk), Euroacademia, Gent - B

EDUCATION

2002  MA University of Nottingham - UK

2001   CEP Sciences-Po, Lille - FR

2000  BA Manchester Metropolitan University - UK

PUBLICATIONS & REVIEWS

2022 Book chapter: What's the matter with time?', In Other Times (In anderen Zeiten)- Changing Discourses of Time across Human History,  ed. by  MPIWG Berlin, Comenius Garten Berlin; Frank & Timme Press (ISBN 9783732908288)

2023 Book chapter: 'What's the matter with a bit of violence?', Environmental Injustice and Catastrophe: How Global Insecurities Threaten the Future of Humanity', ed. by B. C. Messina; Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2023

Aesthetica Magazine; Aesthetica Magazine Anthology “100 Contemporary Artists”;  Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace; Routledge UK; Bergsträsser Anzieger (Germany), Coze magazine (Fr); Point Contemporain (Fr); Jewish Renaissance; Nesta UK; Versant Est; The Gaze of a Parisienne, France3

 

COLLECTIONS & GRANTS

 

Salomon Foundation

Passions Alsace Foundation

Région Grand Est

Accélerateur des Particules

Région des Parc des Vosges du Nord

CIBR Strasbourg

Arts Council UK