Art Metropole is pleased to launch Gardens of a Colonial Present a new book documenting the work of artist Ron Benner. Please join us at Art Metropole on Saturday August 23 from 1-3 p.m. to launch the new book and to meet the artist.
Since the early 1970s Ron Benner has travelled extensively throughout North, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. A voracious reader, he consults and collects a broad range of texts and books, on themes such as agriculture, bio-engineering, capitalism, colonialism, history and politics, which in equal parts inform his practice. Together these experiences have shaped a unique body of garden installations comprised of plants, photographs and textual elements that question and critique industrial agriculture, embedded anthropology, euro-centric knowledge and the global economy.
Gardens of a Colonial Present contains photographic documentation of Benner’s numerous garden projects, and brings together seminal early essays with newly commissioned texts to explore the evolution of his garden works. This catalogue features essays by authors from diverse areas of expertise – including genetics, cultural geography and social anthropology, among others – illustrating the broader significance of Benner’s art. This publication is the first comprehensive examination of his garden installations, intertwining the central themes of activism, environmentalism and global politics that span the breadth of his practice.
Includes texts by: Melanie Townsend, Mireya Folch-Serra, Matthew Teitelbaum, Len Findlay, Adriana Premat, Dianne Bos, Marcel Blouin, Andy Patton, Barbara Fischer, Joe Cummins, Scott Toguri McFarlane, Gerald McMaster, and Ron Benner.
Gardens of a Colonial Present, Ron Benner (Canadian), Museum London (London, ON), 2008
English/French, 70 colour photographs, 18.9 × 24.1 cm, 180 pp. $30
Ron Benner is an artist, gardener and activist from London, Ontario. He is a survivor of Agricultural Engineering and has worked independently as an artist since the early 1970s. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Cuba and Spain and is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum London and the Casa De Las Americas, Havana, Cuba. His photographic garden installations have been installed in London, Oakville, Windsor and Toronto, Ontario and North Vancouver, BC. and in Sevilla and Salamanca, Spain. In May 2008 Benner installed a new garden installation at AXENÃ‰O7 Artist Run Centre, Gatineau, Quebec.