Crash Coursing: Michael Benjamin Brown

Michael Benjamin Brown describes his interests in art and life as eclectic. As a young skateboarder, he turned his fascination with flying into earning a pilot’s license when he was only 17. “The technology of flight dazzles me. I just can’t believe this thing we’ve invented, it’s like humans went insane.” The Winnipeg-based artist, who did graduate work at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, is attracted to states of existence that are both rational and mysterious. This doubling accounts for the connection he made in his recent Winnipeg exhibition between the ill-fated Franklin Expedition and the story of a northern plane crash. The former is an historical event, the latter an invention of the artist, who has added writing to his current list of art practices. (Brown is a painter who has been concentrating on drawing, making artist’s books and working on a web art project.) Even though a century and a half separate the two events, not to mention the categories of fact and fiction, Brown views them as “fragments from an imagined/hypothesized history.” …

Volume 28, Number 2

This article originally appeared in Border Crossings #110, published June 2009.

Border Crossings looks at contemporary art with interest, passion and thoroughness. Subscribe to Border Crossings today for as little as $24/year.