Press release: Museum presents premiere of new video work by Ben Thorp Brown

By | November 10, 2017

Ben Thorp Brown, American, born 1983; still from “Gropius Memory Palace” (detail), 2017; Courtesy of the artist © Ben Thorp Brown

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 10, 2017—The Saint Louis Art Museum will present the premiere exhibition of “Gropius Memory Palace,” a 2017 video work by the New York-based artist Ben Thorp Brown, as the latest installment of the New Media Series.

(To download web-sized images from the exhibition, right click on the images below.)

In “Gropius Memory Palace,” Brown creates a portrait of the Fagus Factory in Alfeld, Germany, one of the earliest designs of Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius. Built in 1911, the factory continues to produce shoe lasts, a form in the shape of a foot for constructing footwear. Defying economic logic, handcrafted production continues today alongside automated manufacturing techniques.

Brown uses the factory as the backdrop for the examination of shifts in technology and the workplace. Through a narrated meditation, Brown invites viewers to experience the Fagus Factory as a memory palace—an imaginary place in the brain for organizing and storing memories.

Brown works with video, sculpture and performance to explore how technology and capitalism transforms the human experience. His recent work has been presented in exhibitions such as “Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016” at the Whitney Museum, “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1, and “24/7 the human condition” at the Vienna Biennale.

“New Media Series—Ben Thorp Brown” will be on view in Gallery 301 from Nov. 17 through April 15, 2018. The film “Gropius Memory Palace” runs for 20 minutes and plays approximately three times every hour.

“New Media Series—Ben Thorp Brown” is curated by Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art.

CONTACT: Matthew Hathaway, 314.655.5493, matthew.hathaway@slam.org