Featured Profile: SIMON M BENEDICT artist Last Update:July 14, 2016

Using pre-existing audiovisual material to create new narratives, Simon M Benedict playfully explores the myths and conventions of artistic identity in fine and popular art realms. Benedict recently completed an MFA at the University of Guelph (2016) and also holds a BFA from Concordia University (2011). His work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States and France. He currently lives and works in Guelph.

Selected Work

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My practice currently focuses around the representation of artistic identity in fine and popular art realms—particularly in films and songs—and how these portrayals are informed by a collection of art historical and vernacular myths. I am fascinated by the way this mythological undercurrent not only informs the public's perception of cultural producers, but also contributes to how artists choose to occupy their own creative and critical space. Through my work, I playfully examine how the meaning of the found audiovisual material I use shifts as I appropriate and recontextualize it. These interventions take the form of performative video pieces that mirror the equivocal relationship I maintain with popular culture, one which fluctuates between unabashed enjoyment and exasperation. From YouTube remakes to live video sequencing, I use a range of performative methods to enact the role of the artist as I understand it: a product of history that is also shaped by contemporary factors. Choosing to cast oneself as an artist means accepting its preset dispositions, while continuously resisting an array of collectively internalized tropes as to what an artist is. I live vicariously through the famous, the dead, and the aspirational, by  appropriating and re-activating existing film and music performances, which consciously and unconsciously make up my own current persona.

The Complete Dare Videos  exhibition write-up by curator Eduardo Ralickas Cedar Room publication by Jenn Jackson, Kari Cwynar, and Amy Ball Artist's website  www.simonmbenedict.com