Photograph by Elias Williams

Christopher Joshua Benton is an American based in Abu Dhabi and Boston, working in artistic research and installation. He works closely with communities to instigate collaboration and share stories of power, labor, and hope. Inspired by his 9 years living in the United Arab Emirates, Christopher investigates traces of the homeland in the diaspora.

 

Past projects have been presented at museums, biennials and art fairs around the world including the Fikra Graphic Design Biennial (Sharjah, UAE), Abu Dhabi Art: Beyond Emerging (Venice Bienniale) and Dubai Design Week. Further projects have been exhibited at Jameel Arts Centre (Dubai, UAE); Warehouse421 (Abu Dhabi, UAE); Aicon Gallery (NYC, USA); and BLOCKHOUSE (Tokyo, Japan), among others. His art and research have been featured on the BBC and in outlets like Dezeen, GQ, Architectural Digest, and Harper's Bazaar Art. You can find his writing and art criticism in Identity, Tribe Photo Magazine, and Global Art Daily.

 

Christopher is a graduate of University of Georgia and has completed programs and fellowships with University of Oxford as a Gilman Scholar and Rhode Island School of Design. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Art, Culture, and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology through the generous support of the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. He is the former creative director of Huawei.

Education 

2023

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MS, Art, Culture and Technology

2011

The University of Georgia 

BA, English Literature, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences

2011

University of Oxford

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar, Keble College

Solo Exhibitions

2021

Beyond: Emerging Artists. Abu Dhabi Art 2021, Abu Dhabi, UAE 

(curated by Till Felrath and Sam Bardaouil)

2021

Worked (So and so and On and on and So on and So On), Al Jimi, Al Ain, UAE

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022

59th La Biennale di Venezia 2022: Offsite Projects, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, Venice, Italy

2022

Frome Photo Festival, Culture Pool, Maker’s Yard, Frome, UK

2022

Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts Exhibition, MIT Wiesner Art Gallery, Cambridge, MA

2022

I Shouted My Laughter to the Stars, Aicon Contemporary, New York City, NY

2021

So Different, So Appealing, Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi, UAE

(collab. w/ Rakan Ghresi & Ashay Bhave)(curated by Murtaza Vali)

2021

Garden of E-arthly Delights, Sumac Space, Dubai, UAE (curated by Ruba Al-Seel)

2021

East East Vol. 4: The Curio Shop Part II, Block House, Tokyo, Japan  (curated by Sophie Arni)

2021

East East Vol. 4: The Curio Shop Part I, H.B. Nezu, Tokyo, Japan (curaetd by Sophie Arni)

2020

Al Seef Festival, Dubai, UAE

2020

UAE Designer’s Exhibition, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, UAE

2019

Practice & Critique, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2019

Localities, Satellite Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2019

001, The Cave DXB, Dubai, UAE

2018

Department of Non-Binaries, Fikra Graphic Design Biennial, Sharjah, UAE

2018

SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai, UAE

2018

Edition 1, Blue Cave Urban Art Festival, Dubai, UAE

2017

SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai, UAE

Fellowships & Residencies

2020

Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation Art Residency, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2019

Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship in partnership with Rhode Island School of Design

Commisions

2020

“How to Be at Rest” Dubai Design Week, Dubai

2019

“Who Gets Paid for Digital Labor?” Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai

2018

 “LLC (Beware Illegal Recruiter),” Project Warehouse, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi

2016

“Execute Trajectory,” Al Quoz Arts Festival, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE

Grants, Funding & Awards

2022

Meta/ Instagram Emerging #BlackVisionaries Grant 

2022

Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts Prize (5,000 USD)

2022

MIT ACT Pilot Grant

2021

MIT ACT Pilot Grant

2021

Council for the Arts MIT Grant

2021

Abu Dhabi Art Emerging Artist Commissions Grant

2021

Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation Emerging Artist Fellow Scholarship

2021

MIT Department of Architecture Graduate Fellowship

2020

Art Jameel Research and Practice Platform Grant

Curatorial Projects

2020

“Do You See Me How I See You?” maisan15 Gallery

Teaching, Lectures & Workshops

2019

"Bull in an Archive," MIT List Center, 18 May 2022, Lecture.

2021

Teaching Fellow, MIT. Advanced Workshop in Artistic Practice and Transdisciplinary Research: Choreographing the City. Led by Gediminas Urbonas & Adesola Akinleye in partnership with Theatrum Mundi and Prof. Richard Sennet (Spring 2022)

2019

“Equality in Design: The need for just representation.” Dubai Design Week Talks, 9 November 2020, Lecture

2019

“Art Not Art,” American University of Dubai, Lecture

2019

“Lost and Unfound: Art-making and the Tentative Sculpture,” Warehouse 421, Workshop

2019

“Why Who Gets to Say What Where,” Warehouse 421, Moderator & Organizer, Workshop

2018

“#ArtSELFIE: Interactive Art for the Digital Age,” World Art Dubai, 20 April 2018, DWTC, Lecture

Contact Me

Christopher Benton_Potriat_Berlin.jpg

Photograph by Jason Miller