Ben Clement and Sebastian de la Cour (b. 1981, United Kingdom & b. 1980, Denmark) currently live and work in Berlin and Copenhagen. They met queuing in a corridor in Bloomsbury, London, in 2004. Two years later they moved in to a fourteen-square-meter room in Copenhagen where they started working together as benandsebastian. In the nine years since, their work together has taken the form of a materialized conversation around gaps and paradoxes in systems of thinking. The duo was educated at Cambridge University, University College London, and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and have exhibited in museums and institutions internationally.
The Museum of Nothing, 2014
Installation, variable dimensions
Courtesy of the artists.
benandsebastian’s The Museum of Nothing is an open and cumulative work that involves the artists appropriating vacated display systems, excluded artifacts and anomalies from museums and institutions in which they have exhibited as a way of introducing doubt into received views of history. The Museum of Nothing pertains to benandsebastian’s interest in how meaning is embedded in spaces and objects in conditions of absence. Their intricate and highly crafted installations have inbuilt gaps and are often on the verge of collapse. Whether taking the form of architectural fragments, mechanical theaters or living artifacts, their works relate to the idea of a body that is incomplete and vying with its own phantoms.
The artist duo open up gaps within supposedly seamless systems of order by interrogating the relationships between things: between context and object, between artwork and institution, between body and limb.
The Museum of Nothing (2014), Installation view Göteborg Konsthall, GIBCA 2015. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler