The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, in collaboration with the Théâtre Princesse Grace, had originally invited the artist Vicki Bennett alias People Like Us to interpret her live cinema performance The Mirror. The performance was to be part of the associated program of the exhibition Variations, Les Décors lumineux de Eugène Frey presented by João Maria Gusmão at the Villa Paloma until August 30th.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic the performance was postponed. However the intention to disseminate and promote the artist’s work has enabled a rescheduling and made available a selection of the artist’s works which will be accessible for the duration of two weeks online.
The Mirror, 2018
The Mirror, premiered at Onassis Cultural Centre Athens in Spring 2018 and now on tour worldwide, is a live a/v performance which splices together movie snippets with unique sample-based music. The work explores the masks that we wear represented through the eye of the lens and using parallel narratives across the screen to depict an ever-changing stream.
We Edit Life, 2002
This is the first in a series of films using documentary, industrial and educational film footage from the Prelinger Archives and The Internet Archive. The film explores the theme of technology, showing how the future can be edited and manipulated through advances in computer science. As the narrative in the film depicts “The art of computer graphics is only in its infancy yet it is already stimulating creative thought in far out areas where research is likely to get complex and unwieldy”.
Trying Things Out, 2007
During 2006-7 Vicki Bennett spent four months in residency in BBC’s archives. The result is a short film using imagery collaged from a number of documentaries made between 1951 and 1980. By juggling layers of imagery and context, much like a puppeteer, the film portrays the playfulness of the artist/director, moving images and scenery around with surprising results.
In 2013, Vicki Bennett produced two films for Random Acts Secret Monsters Commission – Animate Projects/Channel 4, The Golem – An Inanimate Matter and We Are Not Amused. Here again it is a question of intellectual property, staged on a mythological platform the Muses are angry and they want their ideas back!
No One Is an Island, 2016
In 2016 Vicki Bennett was commissioned by the German radio WDR to make a 28-minute radio work. Entitled No One is an Island, this program examines the relationship between artists, writers, scientists and philosophers and the receiving, possession and transmission of ideas. Culture is a complex process of sharing and signification. Meanings are exchanged, adopted, and adapted through acts of communication. The tools we use – the photocopier, camera, computer, encourage and in fact insist upon the act of cutting, copying and pasting – it is second nature. Through mimicry and repetition we learn.
“British artist Vicki Bennett takes you on a roller coaster-ride with her art project People Like Us. In performances, videos, collages and music, her amazing editing techniques and sense of humor leave you flabbergasted and enthusiastic at the same time. People Like Us is like a free-zone where appropriation meets alchemy, humor meets social critique and the boundless imagination meets reality (so called).”
A film by Carl Abrahamsson, Sweden, 2015. 58 min. Produced by trapartfilm.com
People Like Us (Vicki Bennett)
Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognized as an influential and pioneering figure in the still growing area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specializes in the manipulation and reworking of original sources from both the experimentaland popular worlds of music, film and radio. People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use. In 2006 she was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. People Like Us have previously shown work at, amongst others, Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. She has an ongoing sound art radio show ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.
Vicki is a participant in Sound and Music New Voices 2018 programme, a-n Artist Bursaries 2019 recipient, and Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.
Currently, Vicki is focusing on expanding a/v work for a multiscreen and multi-speaker environment with RML CineChamber, a 10-screen work/8 speaker work entitled Gone, Gone Beyond.