An artist in the fields of video, sculpture, and performance, Ben Thorp Brown's work explores the ways that human experience is transformed by technology and capitalism. The Saint Louis Art Museum presents the premiere exhibition of his new work, Gropius Memory Palace, as the latest installment in the New Media Series.
Gropius Memory Palace guides the viewer through 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, hand-crafted production is still practiced 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's reflective journey through the factory reminds us that the body itself is akin to technology, as our perception is constantly reorganized by modes of production, memory, and history.
Gropius Memory Palace will be on view in Gallery 301 beginning November 17. It has a 20 minute run-time and will play approximately three times every hour. New Media Series—Ben Thorp Brown is curated by Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art.
Large print labels for New Media Series: Ben Thorp brown are available on your own device or at the Taylor Hall Information Center.