Gallery Oldham presents ‘Being Benedict Phillips or How to be Dyslexic’, the first large scale exhibition of contemporary art and performance featuring new art works and performances by Leeds based artist Benedict Phillips.
Since 1995, when his ‘Agenda of the Aggressive Dyslexic’ was published, Benedict has been exploring social and political ideas of difference through video, photography, sculpture and performance revealing the alternative perspectives that being “very good at being disleksick” can bring. His art, films, writing and actions demonstrate that through a polarised dark neurodiverse experience he shines a light on the way that we all think and navigate the world around us.
Artworks in the exhibition includes the bookwork ‘A Benedictionary’, the world’s only dictionary with over 2500 dyslexic spellings; Benedict’s persona, The DIV, represented in the exhibition, through new photographic and sculptural works will make regular and biweekly online video presentations and a new performance featuring the DIV in Black will make itself present through sculpture, perforce and sculpture through the program.
These artworks may at first appear to be about dyslexia exclusively but as you engage and explore the works further common threads and experiences that unite us as humans come to the surface.
Benedict says “Exploring and communicating through doing and making images is fundamental to human nature despite the text heavy society that we live in. My work is deadly serious about some flippant attitudes within society and deliberately provocative and humorous about the harsh experiences of this life”.
A series of events and performances will also take place including:
Twenty-seven short films will be released via Gallery Oldham’s twitter account over the duration of the exhibition starting on the week of 28 June 2021.
A Performance event and Artists Talk at Gallery Oldham (2pm on Saturday 4 September 2021): A last chance to see the exhibition and an opportunity to gain further insight into the exhibition Being Benedict Phillips. It will also be a celebration of ‘Agender of the Agresiv Dislecsick’ which was first published in Disability Arts in London magazine in September 1995 and formed the foundation for the following 25 years of dyslexic projects by Benedict Phillips.
A video tour of the exhibition will be available on the Gallery Oldham website
A podcast from 2020 provides useful context and history for Benedict’s work: Disability Arts Online and Graeae present The Disability and Dyslexia Podcast | 17. Disability and…Dyslexia with Benedict Phillips
Being Benedict Phillips or How to be Dyslexic is financially supported by Gallery Oldham and Oldham Council, Leeds Inspired, Access Space, Leeds Environmental Design Associates and public money from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Further support has been provided by Disability Arts Online, The Tetley, Aby Watson, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and theartistsagency.