Artist Statement

Ben Caro is an interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of sculpture and photography. His practice is archaeological in approach, delving into object-histories and excavating time layers via analogue photographic processes. Utilising processes which are obsolescent in commercial and consumer photography, including polaroid film, Ben proposes that the analogue is vital to future ways of seeing — that through it can come new forms of knowledge. Throughout his research led practice, Ben mines and intervenes into pre-existing artefacts — from his personal collection, including postcards of anthropomorphic landforms and 35mm nitrate film, and from the fabric of the city of Edinburgh, including marble fragments from Martin Creed’s Work No.1059 to investigate and destabilise notions of chronological time. In his work Ben uses metaphorical connections to form playful analogous links between objects and sculptural forms. He often explores objects and ideas which rest silent or overlooked, inviting his audience into a process that he describes as ‘close-looking’ with his works. Recently, he has been examining support structures — both theoretical and physical — exploring the role they play in sustaining fragile artefacts as well as dominant social beliefs, most recently normative gender roles in his collaborative artistic practice with Kat Cutler-MacKenzie.

Link to a downloadable pdf of his portfolio:

Skills & Experience
  • Selected to present at The Association for Art History: Emerging Perspectives conference with Kat Cutler-MacKenzie, 2020
  • Selected to exhibit in Trading Zone 2019 at Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh
  • Studio holder at Rhubaba Gallery and Studios
An Excavation, dual channel 35mm slide projection, 1 x 1.5 x 1.5 m, 2021

An Excavation is a dual channel slide projection in which a medieval armour cowl is re-imagined out of quails eggshells. Whilst the cowl bears qualities associated with armour such as camouflage and protection, once worn it is transformed into a fragile garment. Following an approach borrowed from experimental archaeology, the wearer acts as the support structure for the cowl, mapping the artefact onto their body.

Dual channel slide projection
An Archaeology of The Home, performance to camera, 35mm slide series, dimensions variable, 2020

An Archaeology of The Home began as a performance installation but was adapted into a performance to camera due to covid related audience restrictions. In the performance two archaeologists use images depicting female stereotypes - from c.1500 to today - to reconstruct the identity of an unknown woman uncovered in a domestic archaeological site. In the performance the duo use the 'Betty Almanac', an unfolding aide-memoire traditionally used by medieval physicians, to speculate as to the identity of the housewife by mapping objects found within her environment onto the diagram. Their findings are spectacular and surreal, revealing the identity of a woman whose body has undergone a sea-change and returned to stone.


A performance to camera
A performance to camera
Detail of installation and projection setup
A close up photograph of two people wearing white archival gloves who are cradling a stone object
O.o.o.h!, 35mm slide projection, 81 colour slides, dimensions variable, 2021

O.o.o.h! is a semi-pedagogic, semi-absurd investigation into the menstrual cycle. It takes as its starting point the egg to explore the analogue relationship between bird anatomy, women's bodies, and cosmic bodies such as the moon. Throughout the slideshow the artists also morph their own bodies into one, weaving male, female, and bird anatomy together through the use of macro-lenses, performative gestures, and playful inter-titles.

O.o.o.h! projected in a room on an analogue carousel slide projector
A photograph displaying an open orange egg bag with quails eggs inside which is being cradled by a pair of arms which descend from above.
A pair of tights modified to be linked to a string of eggs
Ssss is for Support, installation with polaroid type 54, poly-cotton, plywood, copper pipes, styrofoam pellets, 3 x 1 x 3 m, 2021

Ssss is for Support is a floor based installation that centres around a series of large format polaroid photographs, all of which consider support structures. These polaroids are partial images shaped not only by the 'camera eye', but also by the 'film-body', as the chemicals in the film expired in 2004. In the work green-blue polycotton is used to mount the polaroids; this fabric is also used to make hospital gowns and thus alludes to care within the work. 

Room view of installation (Ssss is for Support)
A detail of this installation
A detail of Ssss is for support
polaroid showing fingertips (detail from Ssss is for Support)
A copper spiral intertwined with a concrete block
Detail from ssss is support
Detail from Ssss is for Support
detail of polaroid in Ssss is for Support
Detail showing polaroid in Ssss is for Support
Mineral Bodies (after Work No. 1059), installation of three channel 35mm slide projection, 3.5 x 3.5 x 2.2 m, 2021

Mineral Bodies is a series of photographic slides which explores Martin Creed's site specific Work No. 1059 otherwise known as the Scotsman Steps, following damage of unknown origin which the work sustained over lockdown. The slideshow delves into the crystalline body of the steps, which has been revealed following this dramatic rupture, and considers Creed's work as a geological landscape. 

Detail photograph of Scotsman Steps
broken steps
Detail from Mineral Bodies
A detail from Mineral Bodies
Installation view of Mineral Bodies
O.o.o.logy, photographic triptych, c-type prints, each 59 x 84 cm, 2021

O.o.o.logy is a triptych of photographs that documents performative archaeological interactions with two quails eggs. The photographs were used by the artists to investigate how to communicate speculative encounters, display/presentation, and analogous methods of thinking with objects.

A hand with a arrow diagram drawn on it. The arrows follow the directions fingers point and read: support, this, that, here, there.
A woman holding quails eggs up to where her ovaries would be
A photograph of a woman wearing glasses who is looking up whilst holding eggs up to her eyes
Ooology hand displayed in Brussels exhibition
O.o.o.logy installed on mdf structure in exhibition

O.o.o.logy installed in the exhibition 'ohm', Former Project Space, Brussels. Installation photographs courtesy Laura De Jaeger.

Future Relic, plywood, porcelain, eggs, concrete, silk, filing box, trestles, 80 x 122 x 70 cm, 2021

Future Relic is a sculpture which consists of three casts derived from a 1980s Estonian egg bag. Together these three boxes propose what a future museological display could look like — here artefacts are not preserved, but left to morph or change as their material ages. Due to the firing process the porcelain pings and cracks, whilst the concrete crumbles to dust, and the eggs sit as if waiting to hatch.


A table with three boxes on. Each box contains an iteration of an Estonian egg bag.
A fragment of a cast concrete egg bag displayed within a 1920s blue filing box
white porcelain egg bag in orange shot silk box

Link to a downloadable pdf of his portfolio:

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Fine Art - MA (Hons)

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