Ben Buswell

Ben Buswell

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Exhibitions

Bio/Statement

Ben Buswell begins with images of the Pacific Northwest as the departure point for his embellished, multi-dimensional sculptural reliefs. “I am a native West Coaster and like to think of our geographical edge as the literal end of Eurocentric history.” Through cutting, etching and tearing, Buswell interferes with the original surfaces of his mediums, “wounding” stacked paper reliefs or scratching into the pristine surfaces of glossy Lambda prints. These physical transformations create new hybrid forms that hover somewhere between the original representations and the places depicted. Landscapes are altered and made almost unrecognizable, while new images rise up through previously flat picture planes. Delicately shredded photographs take on new forms and interpretations with cascading tendrils. These methods, both additive and subtractive, bestow new meanings on the original subjects while partially removing them from history. In Buswell’s work the photographic illusion of a static eternity is shattered and the preservation of memory in physical form becomes untenable. Working with photographs from a childhood spent on the dunes of Pacific City or the mouth of the Columbia River, Buswell’s “use of personal references […] points to my (and by extension, our) complicity and responsibility to living in the present…” In choosing locations with both deep personal meaning and historical importance, Buswell questions the possibility of a single, universal experience.

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