Installation View

Fremantle Arts Centre
25 Mar – 15 Apr 2011

The result of an extended residency through FACAIR, Fremantle Arts Centre’s Artist in Residency Programme, )( continues Forster’s critique of drawing, tracing the boundaries of logic, economy and the role of the artist in art making.

Forster’s curiously titled )( engages in the meaning of construction and the construction of meaning. His work is full of the fun of language puns but also a serious critique of the limitation of language. In )( Forster has erased much of the source material only to find a significant new language in the often overlooked lynch pins of text – punctuation and space. Forster reminds us that translating meaning fundamentally relies on a constant and expected language, however an artist’s practice, and importantly for Forster drawing, relies on and expands from the shortcomings of this same language.

Detailed list of works ( download ).

Catalogue with essay by Liang Luscombe ( download ).

“All the books, no matter how diverse they might be, are made up of the same elements: the space, the period, the comma, the twenty- two letters of the alphabet… In the vast Library there are no two identical books. From these inconvertible premises he deducted that the Library is total and that its shelves register all the possible combinations of the twenty-odd orthographical symbols (a number which, though extremely vast, is not infinite) : In other words, all that is given to express, in all languages.”

— Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel

relevant [ )( ]

Installation View

8 September – 21 October 2012
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art

Artists: Andy Best, Erin Coates, Heman Chong, Simon Faithfull, Benjamin Forster, Tony Garifalakis and Richard Lewer, Charles Lim Yi Yong, Clare Peake, Perdita Phillips, Helen Smith, Kai Syng Tan, Warren Vance and Jurek Wybraniec
Curator: Jasmin Stephens

Yonder offered a contemporary perspective on the desire that artists have always had to know ‘what’s over there’. With the notion of ‘mobility’ as the exhibition’s central idea, Yonder considered some of the poetic and pragmatic connotations associated with this strategy for investigating, taking action and day dreaming about one’s place in the world.

The artists in the exhibition referenced material, virtual and enquiry-based itineraries that reflect a diversity of approaches to propulsion and apprehension of the world. Whether working with traditional media such as paper and pigment or recent media such as digitised text, their approaches produced the effect of a route, a path or way being taken.

relevant [ Yonder ]

Archival information. Redundancy. 2011

Discourse (video + transcript)

Discourse, Primavera 2012, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Image courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photography: Robbie Karmel

Adam SMITH: to have been always exported by foreigners who gave in exchange for something that had been purchased with it but only to one or other of those four ways are themselves productive labourers.
Karl MARX: several big branches of business.
Adam SMITH: industry or of certain districts of the country could absorb and employ will return upon it almost as fast as they were emptied.
Karl MARX: until after three weeks are up that is to say in the sphere of production.
Adam SMITH: in general idle and poor.
Karl MARX: capitalists.
Adam SMITH: of money being necessarily regulated by what can commonly be given for the use of the loans.
Karl MARX: borrowed land and capital borrowed by the industrial capitalists employ their capital to pay for labour power and thereby to maintain it.
Adam SMITH: increase very considerably the annual produce of the land and labour of any country which is employed in agriculture not only occasion like the workmen in manufactures the reproduction of a value equal to the revenue of all its dealings.

>> detritus

Benjamin Forster was an artist in residence at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art from 6 July – 25 August 2010.

In conjunction with his research residency at SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia, Benjamin Forster utilised the PICA Studio to generate hundreds of drawings in his earnest pursuit of the value of artistic process whilst also interrogating the notion of cynicism.

After the public presentation of his visual research on the 10th of August 2010, all the work culminating from this residency were bundled up and discarded.

__________ is a living process and artworks are simply the detritus of this process.

pica studio

Drawings bundled in black plastic.

relevant [ PICA residency ]

Cast in the Light of Reason… or… 2012

Cast in the light of reason … or … is an installation consisting of two framed drawings, The Groundless Ground (located in car park opposite gallery) and ⛎ or Ophiuchus or the serpent-bearer, (located in void) and a platonic solid constructed out of blue shipping rope.

relevant [ 12 Spatial Drawing ]


Resulting from a residency at Canberra Contemporary Arts Space in 2009, Rational was Benjamin Forster’s first solo exhibition in the ACT. The exhibition ran from 25 March to 04 April 2010.

relevant [ Rational ]

connected (installation view)

relevant [ 10 Connected ]

An overview

Spatial Drawing
27 July – 31 August 2012
VENN Gallery, Perth

Spatial Drawing investigated contemporary approaches to drawing, featuring works of three Western Australian artists, Benjamin Forster, Tom Freeman and Clare Peake. Drawing underpins diverse and complex approaches to art making for each of these artists, whose practices also comprise of sculpture, video and installation. In Spatial Drawing each artist explored drawing further through the creation of physical formations and sculptural works that discuss notions of how we engage with space.

The catalogue essay by Gemma Weston is available here.


relevant [ 12 Spatial Drawing ]

connected flier

Connected was a collaborative and playful project between Lucy Quinn, Bettina Hill and Benjamin Forster, where each work of art evolved into a growing string of others. The results were exhibited at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery in Feb 2010.

This is a selection of images from the final installation of Connected. Each work was positioned in relation to the work that influenced its own construction. Small notes in pencil on the wall of the gallery provided further insight into the relationships between the three artist’s work. Connected was reviewed by Canberra-based critic and curator Yolande Norris. Read her reflections here.

relevant [ Connected ]