Varied botanical and non-botanical materials, photography, since 2018.
An evolving series of arrangements using flowers, plants, branches, as well as diverse non-botanical materials: paper, metal, leather, rubber, electrical cable, fabric, musical instruments, and human bodies. The arrangements are ephemeral, sometimes lasting only a few moments before they collapse. Arrangements made for gallery exhibition require watering and the regular replenishment of perishable materials.
Their ephemerality foregrounds the performative, time-based aspect of the arrangements.The resulting works are therefore not merely material assemblages, but also traces of the gestures and affects of acts of arranging.
In Dapper Dan Magazine, Kiriakos Spirou writes, “In his Arrangements series, [Benny Nemer] creates ephemeral assemblages of flowers and found objects. Fragile and supple as they are, these compositions can be read as ideal bodies emerging through nuance and tacit sensibility. If there are any instructions, they are whispered. If there is power at play, it dissolves like mist.”
The first gallery exhibition of an Arrangement was Mixed Faggot (pictured above) at LifeSpace, Dundee, in the Disentangled Exhibition curated by Cicely Farrer in 2019. A Tiberian shepherd’s flute from the archives of the University of Dundee served as the starting point for the arrangement. Live arranging performances followed at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Cobalt, Newcastle, and ZEIT, Antwerp.
The photographs produced to document these arrangements are printed in editions of 5 (2 a/p). The first exhibition of a photograph was My Favourite Vase (pictured below), produced in collaboration with Bastien Pourtout, in 满天星: You May Be My Lucky Star, curated by Zhang Yangyu at Studio HB, Tokyo, in 2019.
Nemer’s first solo exhibition dedicated exclusively to his still life photographs took place at Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain in Montréal in Autumn 2021. The exhibition, entitled “Pour un herbier”, was part of Montreal’s Momenta Biennale de l’Image, featuring eleven prints and a commissioned text by Kiriakos Spirou.