A bureau for the Museum of Nothing, constructed as a place of work as well as an incomplete system of thinking
The Office is a bureau designed specifically for the Museum of Nothing, which is an ongoing work by benandsebastian. The bureau is constructed as a place of work and also as an incomplete system of thinking. Like other parts of the Museum of Nothing, its potential lies in what is projected into it: the promise of ideas that might fill its empty frames and vacant spaces. A source of inspiration for the piece is the following paragraph by the Danish existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard:
A thinker erects an immense building, a system, a system which embraces the whole of existence and world history etc. – and if we contemplate his personal life, we discover to our astonishment this terrible and ludicrous fact, that he himself personally does not live in this immense high-vaulted palace, but in a barn alongside it, or in a dog kennel, or at the most a porter’s lodge. If one were to take the liberty of calling his attention to this by a single word, he would be offended. For he has no fear of being under a delusion, if only he can get the system completed – by means of the delusion.
Teak, brass, leather, rubber, felt, ceramic
70 x 90 x 150 cm
Ben Clement, b. 1981, artist
Sebastian de la Cour, b. 1980, artist
Together, Ben Clement and Sebastian de la Cour form the artists’ duo benandsebastian. Their works explore the meaning embedded in spaces and objects under 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 theatres or living artefacts, their works address the idea of a body that is incomplete and vying with its own phantoms.
With their emphasis on ideas and philosophical content, benandsebastian do not limit themselves to a specific medium but draw on a wide and diverse range of materials, from wood to concrete , living plants and animals and from mirror glass to dust. Rather than making claims to be inventing anything new, they incorporate a rich fabric of cultural and historical references in a process driven by mimicry, adaptation and mutation.
2006: MA from University College London.
Selected grants and honours
2012: Honorary grant from Niels Wessel Bagges Kunstfond
2011: Walk the Plank Award
2009: Three-year working grant from the Danish Arts Foundation
2015: GIBCA – Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Göteborgs Konsthall
2012: Treffpunkt Berlin, Arken Museum of Contemporary Art
2011-2013: Solo exhibition: Phantom Limbs, Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen and TRAPHOLT –
Museum of Modern Art, Applied Art, Design and Architecture, Kolding
TRAPHOLT – Museum of Modern Art, Applied Art, Design and Architecture, ‘2078 Fifth Avenue’
Fritz Hansen, ‘City of the (Re)orientated’