New Perspectives: The Part Versus the Whole
9 June 2018- 18 August 2018

Location: Galleries 6 & 7, first floor

"...sometimes different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves. At times even the names of the inhabitants remain the same, and their voices' accent, and also the features of the faces; but the gods who live beneath names and above places have gone off without a word and outsiders have settled in their place." (Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities)


Combining an eclectic mix of materials from the existing Victoria Gallery and Museum’s collections and archives, including historic magic lantern slides and the archaeological photography of John Garstang, with new objects, performance and film, The Part Versus the Whole by Ben Judd is a commission for the VG&M as part of their New Perspectives 10th anniversary celebrations curated by Rose Lejeune.

Through The Part Versus the Whole Judd invokes a lost community with its own internal systems, beliefs and taxonomies of knowledge. The installation weaves together threads of mythology with imagined and real histories of characters and architecture from the local environment to create an immersive installation. A performance on 9th June, and an accompanying film, imagine this community existing within the Victoria Building.

The Part Versus the Whole is an invitation to viewers to experience a series of alternative readings of the Victoria Building’s, and Liverpool’s, history, to reimagine what might have been and to bring its possible futures to life.

Ben Judd’s work examines his relationship to specific individuals and groups; recently the choreographic and the rhythmic has been used as a method of constructing temporary communities. The work explores how the ritualistic activities of marginalised groups and individuals can be extended into an action realised by actors (one that itself hovers on the border between immersion and a more self-conscious, knowing state), and how, in turn, this action can be interpreted in a moving image work. Positioning himself and the audience as both participant and observer, he engages the grey area between ritual and performance, searching for an unreachable and idealised state of community. Judd has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, including: ICA, London; Whitstable Biennial, UK; Tokyo Opera City Gallery, Tokyo; The Barbican Art Gallery, London; Royal Academy, London; International Center of Photography, New York; Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany; The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Kunstbunker, Nuremberg, Germany; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Rotterdam International Film Festival; The David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Zendai MoMA, Shanghai; Chisenhale Gallery, London.

About New Perspectives

The Part Versus the Whole is the second of a series of three artists commissions through 2018 collectively titled New Perspectives. It was preceded in January by Model for a Common Room by ceramicist Phoebe Cummings. Model for a Common Room takes the idea of a ‘common room’ and its design as the starting point, exploring what activity and functions (practical, intellectual and even decorative) a common space might have, and what possibilities a shared approach to making might offer.  Model for a Common Room runs until July 2018.

Finally, in September 2018 Play it Again! Use it Together is a new work by the Open Music Archive (Eileen Simpson and Ben White) which takes as its starting point the Institute of Popular Music (IPM) archive of over 80,000 records.  With a particular focus on copyright-expired hit records from 1930s, 40s and 50s, the artists will temporarily re-house the IPM archive in the public gallery at Victoria Gallery & Museum for the duration of the exhibition.


Performance: Saturday 9 June

Live performance at 3.00pm
An atmospheric installation by Ben Judd combining historic materials from the University’s VGM and Garstang Museum collections with new objects, performance and film to invoke a lost community with its own internal systems, beliefs and classifications of knowledge. 
This is one of three exhibitions curated by Rose Lejeune for the New Perspectives programme.
Free event, no booking required.