Vast as the Dark of Night and as the Light of Day
This video documents Vast as the Dark of Night and as the Light of Day, a performance for Whitstable Biennale 2014 by Ben Judd.
The work was informed by his research into collectivity and ritual in Whitstable, such as the Blessing of the Waters, an annual thanksgiving traditionally associated with St James, patron saint of oystermen. Taking place during a trip out to sea on an historic Thames sailing barge, this performance sought to form a temporary, and fragile, community out of the twelve passengers on board.
Ben Judd's work explores a blurred boundary between ritual and performance, employing the choreographic and the rhythmic as a method of constructing and examining 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.
In 2016 Judd curated Stories in the Dark – Contemporary Responses to the Magic Lantern for Whitstable Biennale at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury.