Art Space Al Jimi
Worked (So and so and On and on and So on and So on)
Installation Shot. Courtesy of Cultural Foundation
The keymaker. The carpenter. The tailor. The upholsterer. Christopher works closely with various craftsmen and friends to create totems and textiles that speak to the everyday objects that one sees on the street in working-class areas like Madinat Zayed (Abu Dhabi) and Satwa (Dubai). Touching on ideas of Arte Povera, the readymade, and autoconstrucción, each work is the result of extensive dialogue, play, and a flaneur’s eye for beauty.
Found objects are the foundation of each artwork, as it bears witness to invisible systems of labor and forgotten senses of home in the rapidly-shifting Gulf landscape. Benton scavenges through the remains of shuttered business, climbs up abandoned towers and construction sites, and spends time with craftsmen to cull out stories and lost histories of people and places. Cumulatively, these gestures act as a celebration of craft and the creative act.
The exhibition is housed at Art Space in Al Jimi, a mall in Al Ain. This grounding adds a more layered context to questions of what’s consumed and what’s discarded, while also aligning with the artist’s belief in a more accessible art world where everyone can be an artist.