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02 Mar 2012

CIRCA Projects presents Benedict Drew: The Persuaders at AV Festival 12

The Persuaders (Detail), 2012. © the artist, courtesy CIRCA Projects

Benedict Drew: The Persuaders
CIRCA Projects


Preview, as part of the AV Festival 24hr launch: Friday 2 March, 9am-3pm 1—31 March 2012 Open Wednesday – Sunday 12–5pm Free entry

Sam Watson, Programme Director

CIRCA Projects
Stephenson Works
United Kingdom

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CIRCA Projects presents a newly commissioned solo project by Benedict Drew for the latest instalment of the CIRCA Site programme, as part of AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible.

Benedict Drew uses the apparatus of film, video and music to test and reflect upon the relationships we have with technology and its oscillation between the exalted and the commonplace; between desire and the redundant.

For AV Festival 12, Benedict Drew has created a new installation, The Persuaders, located within The Stephenson Works factory, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Taking its point of departure from this year's AV Festival theme As Slow As  Possible (after John Cage), Drew deconstructs the sensory act of viewing and  listening. He looks to cultural phenomena surrounding experimental music, with  particular interest in the dynamic of free-form expression and cultural detritus  of moving-image.

Within The Stephenson Works, the Pavilion infrastructure of The Persuaders takes you through a ghost-train like series of brief encounters. Sculptures and machines take on, sometimes friendly, anthropomorphic characteristics and these unlikely combinations of clay, construction timber and ephemera are fused with the electrical pulse of computer technology to catalyse and transform the obsolete nature of analogue media.

Drew's immersive and visceral installation provokes human sensory and cognitive responses as sound and image induce powers of calm and well-being.
The Persuaders imposes a pace onto the audience, experiencing the work in a  series of confrontations. A single screen video gives breathing instructions that will induce a sense of calm and well being, sculptures act as empathetic mascots, faces will greet you with a smile, old technology will mimic slightly newer technology. A complaint about the world will be lodged.

The Persuaders was originally conceived for an exhibition at James Taylor Gallery, London in 2011 and is curated and produced by CIRCA Projects for AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible, 1 - 31 March 2012

AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible takes place 1-31 March 2012 across  Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Slowness is the theme for  the fourth edition of AV Festival. AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible is a biennial  Festival in slow motion, with some works running for 31 days, some for fleeting moments only, and others appearing to freeze or extend time. Spanning visual art, music, sound and film, the Festival includes over 20 exhibitions and 80 events. AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible is funded by Arts Council England, BFI, PRS for Music Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Henry Moore Foundation, Sunderland Council  and Middlesbrough Council.