Arts Producer - Shortlisted 2015
Bean and Benjamin Sebastian met while sharing a studio in Bow, East London in 2010. That same year Bean founded ]performance s p a c e [, housed in an industrial warehouse in pre-Olympic Hackney Wick, London. In early 2011 Benjamin Sebastian became co-director and to date, ]performance s p a c e [ remains the UK's only performance art specific studio & exhibition space. As a non-profit, artist-led initiative the co-directors maintain acclaimed solo practices along with their curatorial activity. Influenced by such eminent performance art practitioners as Black Market International they create and curate socially relevant and politically charged contemporary performance art through rigorous studio practice and in-depth field research. In 2012 both were awarded the Artists International Development Fund (British Council/Arts Council England) and undertook a six week residency at Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NYC) to develope new work, culminating in Alien(s) in New York; a three day mini festival exhibiting the work of Poppy Jackson, Martin O’Brian and Jordan Wayne Long alongside their own practices. Performance artists Sheree Rose and Tehching Hsieh were in attendance and praised the event and works presented. In 2013 the duos curatorial work: In Conversation was shortlisted for the ArtLicks Weekend Workweek Award and they successfully conviend the Performance Exchanges which brought together 30 artists from 7 countries to examine current iterations of contemporary performance art and its supporting structures and economies. Finally, this December Bean and Benjamin have been curated as part of the Venice International Performance Art Week to present their performance work along with segements of the ]ps[ archive. As Bean says ‘we support those who gain little support elsewhere and champion the mediums’ innately political and socially transformative qualities.’ Currently Bean and Benjamin are amidst the Performance Art Faction, their curatorial programme funded by the Arts Council where they will be supporting and delivering the work of over 60 artists across 9 months. They state their remit as ‘exploring the intersections of contemporary performance art, politics and society with the aim of reawakening the innate political potential of our bodies.'