This project brings together performance artist Tom Estes and sculptor Ben Woodeson in an experimental collaboration; neither knowing exactly what will happen and ultimately what or who will survive. The H&SV collaboration is an evolving experiment documented by visitors to the exhibition; performance art interacting with fragile and ephemeral sculptures, a world where every action has consequences both known and unknown.
Coinciding with South London’s ‘Last Fridays’ events on 26th October, the opening of Health & Safety Violation features Tom Estes performing seemingly inconsequential actions within the deliberately dangerous and fragile environment outlined by Ben Woodeson’s Health & Safety Violation sculptures. ‘Every action has an equal an opposite reaction’ has never been truer. Tom Estes’ actions contribute to a balanced equilibrium. A symbiotic relationship exists between sculpture and performance; inbuilt entropy where every action or inaction has potentially catastrophic consequences. Documentation of the evenings actions is performed by visitors to the exhibition using a communal camera; selected images will be displayed for the duration of the exhibition.
Tom Estes is an artist whose work has been hung, played and performed in a few of the world’s right places and a couple of deliciously wrong ones. He was born outside of Boston in the U.S.A and moved to Paris and lived there for a couple of years before settling in London as a base of operations. His work has been shown nationally and internationally and he has regularly worked with collectives from the United Kingdom such as The Red Velvet Curtain Cult and Art Evict as well as The Biennial Project from Boston in the U.S.A. His work can also be found in major collections such as The Wellcome Collection, The Serpentine Gallery and Tate Modern.
Ben Woodeson’s work is inspired by mass, friction, balance, gravity, momentum, potential and kinetic energy; basic rules of physics are exploited to create minimal sculptures that deliberately straddle a line between stability and instability, action and inaction. Poised treacherously, the works are frequently performative in that they inhabit a moment of possible action and subsequent reaction.
Assembled from modular everyday materials and objects, the works keep the viewer poised in a state of slight suspense, challenging them to respond to a unique and evolving environment of cause and effect. Some works are calm, stable and self-contained whilst others confront the viewer with overtly cataclysmic outcomes. The physicality of the works instigates an intense and visceral relationship with the viewer and the surrounding architecture.
The sculptures have the potential to spin, roll, wobble, fall, flick, collapse, shatter and even ignite… but when? The possibility of any actual activity being observed depends purely on chance and patience. The control systems are random and automatic; deliberately set to challenge and tease a viewer’s attention span. Threatened ripples of consequence are sent throughout the sculptures and audience alike. Some have the ability to function repeatedly; others are self-destructive and catastrophic, the resulting debris and detritus subsequently becoming the exhibited work. – Ben Woodeson – 17/06/2012