Benjamin Jones (Reading, UK, 1994) studied at the Bath School of Art and Design and currently lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include: The Actual Life of a Thought (solo), LOOM Gallery, Milano (IT, 2023); Between Our Sense of Then and of Today (solo), Michael Pennie Gallery, Bath (UK, 2022); Post No Bills (doppia personale con Stephan Keppel), The Koppel Project Hive, Londra (UK, 2022); Residency 4: Benjamin Jones and Ilektra Maipa, Gonzo Unit, Salonicco (GR, 2022); Passive Aggressive (double solo with Robert Luzar), 36 Gallery, Newcastle (UK, 2021); Something, Like Nothing, Happens Anywhere (solo), Camera Austria, Graz (AT, 2021); 4 frogs, DUM Project Space, Ljubljana (SI, 2021); Analogue Processes (solo), Antonini, Milano (IT, 2020); Glashaus (doppia personale con Alexandra Gschiel), Schaumbad - Freies Atelierhaus, Graz (AT, 2019).
In 2016 and 2017 he was a graduate fellow at Spike Island, Bristol, and his work has been published in Photomonitor, Tall Poppy Press, Camera Austria and other art magazines.
THIS WORK OFFERS A SPACE TO REFLECT ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EVERYDAY LIFE AND A SLOWER FLOW OF TIME, A PLACE TO STOP AND THINK ABOUT HOW WE MEASURE OUR LIVES IN RELATION TO THE CYCLES OF NATURE
Two historical souls coexist in Pieve Tesino, two distinct sediments that have been deposited over the last three centuries; one speaks to us of a collective history – stories of individual men – who, setting out from Tesino with determination, courage and a spirit of sacrifice, took the prints that portrayed the subjects of the time all over Europe; the second layer is the individual story of a man who instead imagined and pursued Europe, Alcide De Gasperi, Italian statesman and founding father of the European Community. Between these two layers, though separate, there are points of contact, themes on which Benjamin Jones’ work dwells.
To Live Inside a Second is a diffuse work that winds its way through the alleyways and creates pauses in relation to the architecture, the morphology of the village and its surroundings; a journey that aims to put the visitor in touch with time, like the time that passed between those who left for the world and those who stayed, and with distance, unimaginable in that period. In the artist’s work, every single image is made from two exposures on the same sheet of photographic film and each exposure places the sun on one edge of the frame; enclosing the sky between two suns, Jones depicts simultaneity – of life in Pieve and elsewhere in the world – and distance. The sun in the sky therefore becomes the universal sign of the passage of time, the element that embodies hope between departure and return.
At the centre of the itinerary is a large image with a winter detail of the Garden of Europe dedicated to Alcide De Gasperi; vegetation expressing expectation, in which we find hope in the form of a pod full of seeds, seeds that are partly scattered and that once again position this location at the starting point of a journey.
The works, in two different formats, show us the philological point of origin, small stories of many people, the great story of a single person who influenced that of everyone.
01. Benjamin Jones, To Live Inside a Second, 2023. 8 prints on aluminum, 100 x 80 cm.
On the walls through the streets of the village
02. Benjamin Jones, To Live Inside a Second, 2023. Print on aluminum. 591 x 300 cm.
Via Alcide De Gasperi 10-22, Pieve Tesino
IS A WIDESPREAD INTERVENTION IN THE VILLAGE OF PIEVE TESINO THAT, IN TWO DIFFERENT FORMATS, TELLS THE STORIES OF THE PEOPLE WHO CENTURIES AGO LEFT THE TESINO AREA TO SELL PRINTS DEPICTING THE SUBJECTS OF THE TIME ALL OVER EUROPE, AND THE SINGLE STORY OF ALCIDE DE GASPERI, ITALIAN STATESMAN AND FOUNDING FATHER OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
Pieve Tesino is one of the ‘Borghi più Belli d'Italia’ (Most Beautiful Villages in Italy) and today it has about 650 inhabitants. The old centre rests on rocky ledges that determine its layout, and its streets are lined with elegant and imposing buildings that once belonged to the four districts (Colmelli) known as Riba, Broccati, Angara and Grotto. Of particular interest are the 18th-century octagonal fountain in Piazza Maggiore and the 15th-century portico of the old Town Hall, under which the heads of families, known as ‘Vicini’, used to meet to take the most important decisions regarding the community. Pieve Tesino is famous for being the seat of Italy’s first Pro-Loco (local promotion organisation), established in 1881 under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and for being the birthplace of politician and statesman Alcide De Gasperi. His house-museum is located in the village and every year, on August 18th, the ‘Lectio degasperiana’ is organised. The nearby Arboretum is a natural site where the Garden of Europe was created, a symbol of unity and democracy, De Gasperi's great ideals. The Per Via Museum, on the other hand, recounts the epic story of the travelling print sellers who, between the 18th and 19th centuries, rewrote the history of the Tesino valley, making it famous in Europe and worldwide. The area is distinctive for its unspoilt nature, an ideal place for medium and high-altitude mountain activities. The municipality, moreover, as a result of its family-friendly policy, has obtained the ‘Family in Trentino’ award.