Ben Denham Dimensions of Line: Movements of Force 2014 photographic documentation
Ben Denham has been working with a custom laser etcher and a drawing machine to produce new works on paper. These works include the recording of audio waveforms in marks on paper and the use of the laser to burn intermittent lines through the paper and create a mask for new moving image works. These works extend on the work that Ben presented as part of Primavera 2014 at the MCA and his exhibition IOU in material thought at Mop Gallery last year by working with the new media of the laser and incorporating moving image elements more directly into the drawings.
Ben Denham, In Flames (windy chaos), 2015, single channel video, stereo sound, custom laser cut mask over LCD screen, 9:34 minutes
43 Reflections for Ayotzinapa
Ben Denham is also curating, with Socorro Cifuentes, an exhibition of photographs by Antonio Díaz and Joel Martínez that will be shown alongside his work. The photographs document the protests that have occurred in response to the forced disappearance of 43 student teachers at the hands of the municipal police force of Iguala, Mexico on 26-27 September 2014. The students, from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rual Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, come from humble backgrounds and were training to become teachers for some poorest and most isolated communities in Mexico. The disappearance of these students at the hands of the police, and in collusion with narco gangs, has highlighted both the corruption, violence and impunity that exists in Mexico where over 20 000 people have been forcefully disappeared and where none of those cases has been resolved judicially. Add to this the 100 000 people that have been killed in the so called 'war on drugs' and you can begin to understand the gravity of the situation in Mexico.
Ben Denham says that rather than being a calculated curatorial decision, presenting Antonio Díaz and Joel Martínez's photographs alongside his work stems from the urgency of the case involving the disappeared students. "Socorro and I were presented with the opportunity to show these works and I already had an exhibition lined up with the gallery so I thought that it would be appropriate for me to share the space with these artists who are helping to document this crucial social movement that highlights so many of the problems that Mexico is currently facing."