Marissa Lee Benedict at Threewalls

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Benedict is interested in processes. My question is: How am I, as a viewer, being made to understand the processes she is interested in? If I give a plain reading of what I see it would go something like this. “There is a bucket with green dirty water and lamps around it. In the middle of the room, t

here is a branch with a plastic bag filled with water attached to it. There are two SAIC drinking bottles with dirty water and an SAIC book with a magnifying glass mounted above it. However, by the way it is displayed I don’t feel invited to look through them. Probably she wants to show she studied at SAIC”

If she want to show her interest in processes, why doesn’t she build a laboratory? Go for it girl, all the way!

Benedict was much more successful with her piece in the lobby of the Sharp building of SAIC. She had build a structure in which she grew plants, all the way with lamps and dirt. Seeing this work as part of a larger setting where people work and study and pass by on the street, we are invited to witness the process of growing, nature, life. I enjoyed passing by her installation and the life and the green she brought into my life so much. It became part of my daily routine. We see the plants grow. How amazing it is, for us city people!

In respect to her show at Threewalls, the question arises: how does an artist translate a work to a gallery setting where the work is experienced as a one time event only? How do you engage the viewer in your basic interest in processes when the viewer spends only a brief moment with the work? Is the gallery the right place for her work?

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