FIU Art + Art History Assistant Professor Benjamin Zellmer Bellas is currently exhibiting his work alongside artist and performer Justin Cooper and artist Michelle Grabner at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago.
Cooper and Bellas previously collaborated in 2006 for a series of performances revolving around Cooper’s first solo show, Middle Management, at Monique Meloche Gallery. In this current showing, Bellas is showing video work entitled “AN INDIVIDUAL THROWS A FLASHLIGHT INTO LAKE MICHIGAN, WHERE IT IS LEFT TO FLOAT BENEATH THE SURFACE OF THE LAKE.” Bellas straddles sentiment and intellect through his multimedia practice, casting everyday objects as ostentatious and sometimes iconic signifiers. Filmed in 2010 in New Buffalo, Michigan while Bellas was an artist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Roger Brown House, this video work explores the resonance of memory and the necessity for connection. (Source: Monique Meloche Gallery)
Stills from “AN INDIVIDUAL THROWS A FLASHLIGHT INTO LAKE MICHIGAN, WHERE IT IS LEFT TO FLOAT BENEATH THE SURFACE OF THE LAKE” by Benjamin Zellmer Bellas.
The text that accompanies the video work is below:
“this endless searching
I will search no more
this looking for guidance
I will look no more
this inquiry for advice
advice is nontransferable
and no one apparently knows this
I will lead myself
I will lead myself adrift
animal instinct is almost always a better guide
I’ll feel my way forward through this abyss
answers are a useless pursuit
questions are the best answers to questions without answers
ineffable, intrinsic, private, and immediately apprehensible
it finally occurred to me
…that all the things I’ve been painstakingly attempting to
…communicate with you
…are quite impossibly
Cooper invited Bellas to exhibit his work this year in “porcelain projects,” which is a dedicated black box gallery in the backroom of Monique Meloche Gallery. It was conceived of in 2014 to create an opportunity to exhibit film, video and new media art within the most domestic space of the gallery: the powder room. It offers the opportunity for audiences to experience video work in an intimate, non-traditional space as well as the potential of video to activate tertiary environments. The impetus for porcelain projects was to explore how an ongoing film program can function within the gallery, while demonstrating how film can live in a vernacular setting, such as the space of one’s home. Building on the momentum of on the wall (2010 – present) and newly inaugurated off the wall (2014-present), porcelain projects is an extension of the gallery’s interest in programming exhibitions in non-traditional spaces. (Source: Monique Meloche Gallery)
Benjamin Zellmer Bellas’s work will be exhibited until May 28, 2016 at Monique Meloche Gallery: 2154 W. Division (at Leavitt), Chicago, IL 60622.