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Chris Bennie is a New Zealand born artist currently living and working in Brisbane.

Bennie studied at the Otago School of Art in Dunedin, New Zealand and the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, graduating with first class honours in 2002. He has held a number of solo exhibitions at ARI’s and University spaces, including Our Communication Recorded, Blindside, Melbourne (2006); New Video: made in China, Queensland College of Art Gallery, Brisbane (2006); and Slower, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2003). Bennie has also participated in many group exhibitions, including the Biennale of Sydney: Revolutions – Forms That Turn online venue (2008); Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008); New Work 3, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, (2007); and +Plus Factors, Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2006). He has undertaken a number of residency programs, including the QLD Artworkers Alliance and the State Library of Queensland, Interactive New Media Residency (2007); Transit-Lounge, Berlin (2006); and Shandong College of Art and Design, China (2005). Bennie also initiated and is project director of Moreton Street Spare Room (MSSR) and has received support from the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.

My work presents the unremarkable as profound by using video and photography to observe the majesty of common objects and daily rituals. A dog, cows, my back, a phone book, a small crop dusting aeroplane, a couple dancing, a polar bear, a truck trailer, and my girlfriend’s bottom are subjects that have been scrutinised.

I adopt a whimsical and spontaneous approach to representing diverse subjects and materials in reaction to what the Situationist author Guy Debord calls The Society of the Spectacle; the state of the world in which hegemony, monotony, excess, comfort, security, absurdity, and homogenization define individual experience. A playful and familiar sense of being is explored in my work that can be seen as contrasting the Spectacle’s gaudy, dramatic, unrealistic and alienating quality. Institutional and domestic contexts such as public art museums and commercial galleries, as well as private homes and motor vehicles, provide environments for finished work that further contribute to the exploration of authentic experiences, in particular in diverse social spaces.

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