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Will Benedict: Dialogue of the Dogs at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

October 15–December 18, 2022

Opening: October 14, 6–9pm

Dialogue of the Dogs is one of Will Benedict’s most ambitious exhibitions to date and the first significant retrospective of his work to be shown in Switzerland.

Will Benedict will display both retrospective works and new developments in the form of paintings, videos, and installations on the two main levels of the institution. The chimeric imagery of the artist is influenced equally by pop culture, literature, and art history. He layers the intricate psychic portrayal of literary characters with the anthropomorphic oddities used to sell us sugary products in the bizarre figures who inhabit his videos. The end effect is a strange parallel universe where people have rooster crests, have ears for eyes, and have structures that resemble elephants. He draws attention to the absurdity we constantly feed on in the world we have created through humor and foolishness.

The story “The Deceitful Marriage,” written by the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, served as an inspiration for Dialogue of the Dogs’ themes of delusion, perspective, and the satirization of authority. It describes a feverish and hallucinating patient who has a dream in which two dogs converse with one another. The dogs describe what they see. They ridicule civilization; their rulers are idiots, vicious, and dishonest. Humanity becomes “dog-like” as positions are reversed and the dogs are given the moral high ground.

Will Benedict’s writing doesn’t look for solutions; rather, it raises a lot of them, including those regarding the difficulty in taking oneself seriously, the folly of moral hierarchy, the mess that is being ethical, the difficulty in being sincere, and the worth of idiocy. He depicts us as the animals we are, but with the kindness of reciprocal inference.

The idea of time is also evident in almost all of the pieces on display, from a Polaroid depicting a baby developing from an egg to an Uber driver attempting to deliver food on time while listening to Pink Floyd’s titular song to Cafe Wharecurrent ?’s motif of a clock. Time holds everything together, the artist says.

This show provides a chance to explore Benedict’s imagery as it is expressed through moving images as well as to see many of his paintings, photographs, and collages for the first time in one location. There are ironic references to the same bleak future throughout this work, which is similar in tone to his videos. Everywhere we look, it seems there is a hidden play, a double meaning, or an inside joke.

Will Benedict (b. 1978, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in Paris. He has recently presented solo exhibitions at dépendance (Brussels), Galerie Balice Hertling (Paris), Fondazione Giuliani (Rome), Bergen Kunsthall, and Halle für Kunst Lüneburg. Benedict was among the artists invited to participate in BIM’21 at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève; the newly commissioned work he created together with Steffen Jørgensen, The Restaurant, Season 2, premiered in Geneva as part of the Biennale.

Dialogue of the Dogs is curated by Andrea Bellini. 

The Centre also presents dreamstime, Sarah Benslimane’s first institutional exhibition, in its Project Space

France-born Sarah Benslimane (b. 1997) now resides and works in Geneva. She is a member of a generation of artists who are fully governed by online norms. Her art is a reflection of the abundance of knowledge, history, visuals, and fashions that are instantly accessible to everyone. Her sculptural paintings play tricks on the viewer’s perception of reality and appear to offer hints for solving a riddle that has become unmanageably complex.

Her work has been shown at Cherish (Geneva), Friart (Fribourg), Tunnel Tunnel (Lausanne), and Karma International (Zurich).

dreamstime is curated by Fabrice Stroun and will feature a text by Mitchell Anderson. 

Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève
10, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
1205 Geneva
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +41 22 329 18 42
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