A list poem of pressures.
First realized for a solo exhibition of the same name in 2018, this list poem of (body) pressures continues to flex across materials, processes, and places.
Here's an excerpt from project’s most recent manifestation: Foreland is thrilled to present “Forgetting the Words,” public art installation by Los Angeles-based artist, Erik Benjamins. Consisting of a list poem of informal, personified words relating to pressures and proximity, this piece forefronts a language of and for the body. Inspired by the visual-centric and playfully scalable characteristics found in concrete poetry, this piece is continually adapted to uniquely respond to new sites and uses by way of diverse design and presentational tactics including a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall text, the front page of an exhibition press release, and a blind debossed letterpress edition. On the occasion of Foreland’s participation in Upstate Art Weekend, this list has been scaled to the exterior of the south façade as a two-and-a-half story vinyl banner. Featuring handwritten text on a stark white ground, this iteration of “Forgetting the Words” adopts the look and feel of list-making to highlight at an exaggerated, near monumental scale, a commonplace, non-special style of writing that many—the artist included—utilize as a critical practice to daily living. Importantly, this piece was also chosen for Foreland in how it’s language references processes and rhythms of industrial garment making, the building’s first use. Finally, presented in the context of today’s traumatic political climate, one can also consider the list an accumulation of observations and reflections pertinent to today’s (body) pressures surrounding resistance, friction and protest.
DEBUT — Floor-to-ceiling vinyl installation for Forgetting the Words (solo show), River Gallery, Los Angeles, 2018
SECOND ADAPTATION — Blind deboss letterpress print on Stonehenge White 250gsm archival paper, 8.5 x 17 in., limited edition of 15, printed at the Banff Centre For Arts & Creativity, Alberta, Canada, 2018
THIRD ADAPTATION — Public artwork, vinyl banner, 15 x 25 ft., Foreland, Catskill, NY, 2020