Taylor French Benoit

I would like to know what it means to be a nature lover in the 21st century. How do we reconcile our explicit ecological actualities, with the western lineages of ideated dupery that have constructed a substantial perceptual labyrinth in regards to our relationship to the natural? What is this hubristic and conditional limerence that decides when and where the natural takes place for our own benefit and psychological wellbeing? How did we manage to cultivate an ethos in which to love is also to destroy?

My studio practice is currently committed to investigating when, where, and how the minimalist insistence on the "here and now" might over-lap with what Evan Eisenberg termed “the gorgeous paralysis” and “convivial yawns” of the pastoralist genre. The confluence of these spatial and temporal modalities create a critical framework that can elucidate the promises and pitfalls of how we choose to see the natural world. Together they work to reveal the ways in which we fictionalize our surroundings through various narratives and myths. What can be learned as the persistence of pastoralism's perpetual noontime haze rubs against minimalisms commitment to the actualities of place? My practice explores the visual, formal, & conceptual neologisms these two aesthetic ontologies generate when combined.

— Taylor French Benoit, Winter 2022.