American sculptor, installation artist, and boundary pusher Benjamin Jurgensen is not easily described. It’s almost like he’s created real-life cartoons. Or multi-coloured non-functional Rube Goldberg cast offs. Or randomly stacking shit in piles. I haven’t figured it out yet, and hopefully that’s the goal – to push, prod, and force us to think. Absurd and imaginative, they’re like whacked out three dimensional puzzles just begging to be figured out. In a world where things are so simple and laid out and don’t ask much of us for fear that we’ll grow tired and give up, these pieces challenge us. They’re complex and non-sensical and don’t promise that there will even bean answer to find, not matter how hard we try. They stick up for themselves. They don’t care what we think.
In his 2008 exhibition “Don’t Ready To Die Anymore”, he added to the awesomeness of his works with completely kick ass titles. Reminding me of the long, word-winding titles to the songs of one of my favourite bands, The Most Serene Republic, (you can’t tell me you don’t want to just dive head-first into a track called “Where Cedar Nouns And Adverbs Walk”…), each title catapults the craziness of its piece to a sublime new level. It’s like beat poetry with a dash of Warhol. Love love love. Behold:
- “spit your game, talk your shit, grab your gat, call your click”
- “shadows only cast if comic book courage amounts to anything more than tattered sheets and exploded ankles”
- “life after death, ninety-six, woulda stayed fine had puff daddy been a better father figure”
- “put we to your ear and hear yesteryear’s ocean, mute affairs, mortarboards, merman graduate shit, this is just future love like water dripping down her inner thigh, teardrops as diluted thoughts filtered through the mainstream, twenty thing-a-ma-bobs, treasure troves, spear-fishing, love’s fragile future only safe speaking through cartoon thought bubbles and coral thieves, lured into the deepest oceans of fantasy, flipping fins, marquees wash up on shore, legs required in the seas of change, reprimanded daughters, breathing the same air, just done differently”