Café at The Arts Center at Governors Island
May 28 - October 30, 2022
July - August: Summer Friday and Saturdays, 10am-7pm, Sundays 10am-6pm
Open on Memorial Day (May 30), July 4, Labor Day (Sept 5)
LMCC proudly presents the first U.S.-based installation of Pillars by Jamaican-born artist Simon Benjamin. A new iteration of Diorama, an interactive video and installation work first exhibited at the 2017 Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Pillars continues Benjamin’s investigation into people of the African Diaspora and their evolving relationship with the sea.
Benjamin’s current work at Governors Island focuses on migration, labor, and the disembodied forms of care that immigrants send home to their loved ones. Viewing portals bored into the masses of large shipping barrels act as a reinterpretation of the diorama, a French picture viewing device that originated in Paris around the time Haiti gained its independence. Glimpsing through these portals, viewers encounter video and projections of horizons from locations in the U.S. that face the direction of islands in the Caribbean.
Simon Benjamin is a Jamaican artist and filmmaker, whose multidisciplinary practice encompasses multi-sensory installations, sculptures, video, photographs, and printmaking. His practice considers how current realities are shaped by both visible and invisible histories. Using the framework of the sea and coastal space, his current body of work investigates the Caribbean’s complex relationship to trade, ocean travel, import-dominant consumerism, tourism, and other neo-colonial relationships imposed by the United States and the West.
His work has been included in documenta 15, Kassel, Germany (2022); Kingston Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica (2022); trinidad+tobago film festival, Trinidad and Tobago (2021); NYU Gallatin at Governors Island, New York, NY (2021); The 92nd St. Y, New York, NY (2020); Brooklyn Public Library, New York, NY (2019); Hunter East Harlem Gallery, New York, NY (2019); the Ghetto Biennial, Port Au Prince, Haiti (2018); Jamaica Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica (2017); Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (2019); New Local Space, (NLS) Kingston (2016); and Columbia University, New York, NY (2016). Benjamin will be an Artist-in-Residence at Light Work as well as Baxter St. CCNY in 2022, and has participated in residencies at Lighthouse Works, Fishers Island, NY, Shandaken Projects, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, both on Governors Island in New York.