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Society: 4 collaborative projects by Ben Judd
Took place: 5th - 28th May, 2006         [ Photos 1 2 3 ] [ Press ]

Emma Alonze, Emily Burke, Nick Denby, Laura Dexter, Lianne Elmasry, Sean Foster, Patrick Gildersleeves, Rob Jones, Anna Kershaw, Helena Kirk, Sophie Lawson, Helen Tracey Maclean, Karen Musgrave, Paul Seymour, Chris Snook, Ben Thompson.

Press Release
'Thoughts were things to be collected, collated, analysed, shelved or resolved. Fragmentary ideas, apparently unrelated, were often found to be part of a special layer or stratum of thought and memory, therefore to belong together.' [Hilda Doolittle, patient of Sigmund Freud].

'The search for universal truth is an unending one. Even armed to the teeth with language, a faculty for reason and extensive technology, absolute reality cannot be located. [One] method is, of course, lying vehemently to everyone, including ourselves.' Sally O'Reilly.

SOCIETY brings together four independent groups of 'collectors', each founded in West Yorkshire towards the beginning of the 21st century: The Pro-Domestic Interpreters, We Are This, Creators of Visual Obscurity and The Faux Bona-Fide Society.

Each society consists of a group of single-minded, fanatical, enthusiastic zealots, who collect, re-organise, classify and categorise the objects, ideas, thoughts and memories found in their everyday, and imagined, lives.

Each group in SOCIETY has its own rules and manifesto, their commonality being an obsession with the long, arduous process of forming a collection. In the act of collecting, the members of each society will assume different roles and personae, intentionally misguiding and misleading non-members, especially those discredited as belonging to rival societies.

The collection of the societies are here presented to a public, and it is left for the observer to ponder the truth claims behind the accrued 'wealth' and 'diversity' of objects on display, and to question aesthetic, social and spiritual value when the means of production is only justified by the end, witnessed in the collection. Are not the members themselves being 'collected' here?

Ben Judd, working with a group from Leeds Metropolitan University, will curate overlapping projects at Redux to be held over May 2006. The project seeks to simulate four secret or fanatical societies, each represented by the assembly of a 'collection'. The collected objects here may invoke the apparition of a negative subject: contempt by actors of one private society for the other that may rival it for dominance in the space will incur antagonistic, random behaviour from members, in receipt of mutual contempt, yet simultaneously display signs that nurture the will to conformity; to form moderate societies, yet whose moderation becomes the most violent of extremes, which endorses the suppression of its subjects in a substitution performed by its objects.

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