Taylor French Benoit

My work approaches what it means to be a “nature-lover” in the 21st century. Through material, object, and image based propositions, I am searching for a confluence of two phenomena: our explicit ecological actuality, and our rigid schemas of “nature”. Our conceptions of what, where, how, why, and when nature is—and is not— creates the substantial perceptual labyrinth in which I play. What are these exceptional mires of conditional eco-limerence in which the natural can be found here but not there? How did we manage to cultivate an ethos in which to love is also to destroy?

Currently, I am 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 imbrication 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 are the visual, formal, & conceptual neologisms these two aesthetic ontologies generate when combined? And, what can be learned as the persistence of pastoralism's perpetual noontime haze rubs against minimalisms commitment to the actualities of place?