In this immersive installation, Kaleb Bennett has constructed a space where visitors are invited to journey into foreign territory. As a starting point, the work uses data gathered during a research trip to Mexico earlier this year. Two large structures that mimic street vendor food stalls, a common fixture on the streets of Mexico, sit ominously in the gallery, void of human presence. They are stripped back to their structural minimum, hauntingly absent.
The windows are barred up with planks, concealed so we cannot view the outside easily. We are contained within the installation. As we walk through the space we become like shadows in the darkness. There is a sense that the carts have been open for business, an ambiguous presence/absence is constructed. The installation becomes the record of a moment, a lasting reminder of what once was... Or perhaps the beginning of what is?
The eighty-minute sound loop brings together recordings sampled from Mexico; from street milieu to winds in the desert, they are fused together to create an eerily familiar sense of the world outside. The glow from within the stall suggests activity, but we are destined not to know. We can only imagine what might be contained within. The noise, along with the installation, is both somewhere and nowhere, familiar and unfamiliar… it is the starting point of a journey.
Kaleb Bennett is a Wellington based artist. Recent solo projects include Wadely Action, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, 2005; Interventions, Wellington, 2004; Interference, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2003; Dislocation (Silence), Shed 11, Wellington, 2003; Sky Noise Map, Art Box Project, Wellington, 2003. Recent group exhibitions include Duets II, Room 103, Auckland, 2005; Models for a New Community, Canary gallery, Auckland, 2005; OND_2, Canberra Artspace, Canberra, Australia, 2005.
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Get some art down ya
Presto, December 2005
Wood, Andrew Paul.