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Helen Benigson [Videonale.14]

*1985, lives and works in London, GBR
Studied at the Slate School of Fine Art, London, GBR


Exhibitions [selection]:

2012 Talmy, London Jewish Film Festival, The Tricycle Cinema, London GBR [S]
         Palm Trees and Poker Players, James Hockey and Foyer Galleries, Public Gallery, The University of      
         the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey GBR [S]
         Tenderpixel Film Festival, London GBR
2011 The Future Queen of the Screen, ROLLO Contemporary Art, London, GBR [S]
         Princess Belsize Dollar, Lucky PDF, Frieze Art Fair, London GBR
         Gewaltopia and Other Places, Flat Time House, London GBR
2010 Swimming to the Roses, Irma Stern Museum, Public Museum, Cape Town RSA [S] 


Helen Benigson x

The Future Queen of the Screen, 2011, 9:18 min., colour, sound [VIDEONALE.14]

Video extract

The to-date most extensive video by Englishwoman Helen Benigson, “The Future of the Queen of the Screen”, combines contrasting visual worlds: the South London borough of Peckham and panoramic views of the beaches of the Dead Sea alternate with a virtual desertscape. The main protagonists are two female hip-hop dancers who compete both in real and in fictitious dance competitions in the shape of avatars and upload their choreographies to an internet platform. This narrative montage is interrupted by sequences showing a woman adrift in the sea, an appearance by the artist herself. Benigson’s video art is characterised by a complex visual language. Over-saturated colours and partially psychedelic elements are combined to form collage-like passages which blend impressions of nature with aggressive hip-hop gestures. What becomes particularly apparent here is the antagonism of ‘wet and dry’, accentuated by the lines of text and the sequence of images. On top of this, feminine attributes like the graduation of pink colouring in the shots, cross fading using larger than life sushi bites, rosebuds and also the female body are used in an aggressive fashion. The polemic interaction of image material, off commentary and musical accompaniment using rap by Beningson’s alter ego “Princess Belsize Dollar” persistently evokes sexual connotations and provocatively draws on the treatment of female sexuality in the internet age.

Ann-Kathrin Täuber

Helen Benigson