Simon Benjamin

Artadia Awardee

Simon Benjamin is a Jamaican multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker based in New York, whose practice considers how the past ripples into the present in unexpected ways. Using the sea and coastal space as frameworks, his current body of work explores how lesser-known histories and colonial legacies impact on our present and contribute to an interconnected future. His work has been included in exhibitions and screening internationally including documenta 15, Kassel, Germany (2022); Kingston Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica (2022); Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Governor’s Island, NY; Third Horizon film Festival, Miami, FL (2022); trinidad+tobago film festival, Trinidad and Tobago (2021); NYU Gallatin at Governors Island, New York, NY (2021); The 92nd St. Y, New York, NY (2020); Hunter East Harlem Gallery, New York, NY (2019); the Ghetto Biennial, Port Au Prince, Haiti (2018); Jamaica Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica (2017); New Local Space, (NLS) Kingston (2016); and Columbia University, New York, NY (2016).  

Simon Benjamin is a Jamaican artist and filmmaker living in New York, whose work includes experiential installations, film, photography and sculpture. Through research, oral history, and critical fabulation, he calls attention to the contradictions entangled in the enduring myths and images of the Caribbean as tropical paradise–a carefully constructed imaginary that replaced the harsh reality of the exploitative plantation. With the intention of moving beyond critique or pointing to systems and power – he creates open-ended poetic and lyrical moving images and objects which bring together the immaterial and the tactile, which he hopes prompts the imagination of futures that exist in the notion of otherwise.