“Sound and the City” could easily be the title of Justin Bennett’s work, and it would describe it down to the tee. The English-born artist now living in Holland takes a look at the urban environment through sound mainly, adding some imagery only because as he puts it, ‘art audiences have more difficulty focusing on audio works’ and at the same time he gets to use his own passion for maps. The most impressive work presented at the Pompidou Centre during the festival has to be City of Progress. An animation that narrates the construction of a city and the destructive forces that can erase her from the map, so to speak. The voice over describes each and every step of the creation of the urban environment as the animation evolves onto the screen.
Heavily influenced by the theoretical work, and mainly by Paul Virilio’s Pure War, the artist questions the destructive forces of new technology implemented to the city, such as a nuclear reactor, and the take over of public space by private corporations. Combining it with the overall theme of the festival –miniatures- one can’t help but wonder , after more than 250 years of the industrial revolution…. are we starting to feel the unbearable weight of our own creations and being reduced to ‘miniatures’ by the all so imposing shadows of a skyscrapers? Continue reading Hors Pistes @ Pompidou review – Part 2
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