Ben is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and in the Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Ben is represented by the Equinox Gallery in Vancouver, please see their site for some of his work.
Our Interview with Ben about his work to be displayed at the Exhibition:
Q: Tell us a bit about the work
A: In this piece I take a short story by Jorge Louis Borges, ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote’, and turn it into a comic. But it is a pretty boring comic as it is just Borges telling his story.
Borges commonly blurs the lines between fact and fiction. His story masquerades as an essay, so there is already a deliberate confusion between Borges, the writer, and his fictional narrator. I play along by drawing Borges into my comic, telling his story.
Borges’ story also considers that a piece of writing can (and does) change when it is placed in different contexts. The words may be the same, but they can carry radically different meanings depending on how they are situated. My piece echoes Borges? narrative by copying word-for-word a translation of his story and placing it in a comic form.
Q: How do you connect to copyright or the law?
A: My work has often made use of others’ work. I suppose I try to be mindfully oblivious of copyright law in case it hampers my investigations. To be fair, if I am using someone else’s work it is important that it is significantly altered in the process. I am not into senseless repetition. However, the funny thing is that it is possible for a work to be radically altered just by thinking about it differently. That’s what the Borges story is about.
Q: Has copyright ever affected your work?
A: Not that I can think of? but as I said, I am mindfully oblivious about that.
Ben Reeves’ recent exhibitions include: Complicated Matter at Museum London; Drawing Painting at the Oakville Galleries; Shifting Space: Cultural Transformations at the Sichuan Institute of Fine Art in Chongqing, China; the traveling show, Lines Painted in Early Spring (Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, The Koffler Centre, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, and Galerie de L’Université du Québec à Montréal); High Points: Canadian Contemporary Art, Ten Years of Recent Acquisitions at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal; and For the Record: Drawing Contemporary Life at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Ben is represented by the Equinox Gallery in Vancouver and by Jessica Bradley ART+PROJECTS in Toronto. He has been a Lecturer at the University of British Columbia, Assistant Professor (painting) at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph, and is currently Assistant Professor specializing in painting and drawing at Emily Carr University.