photo © Devin Yalkin
Ben Gould is an artist currently living and working in New York City. After the sudden and late development of Tourette Syndrome, Gould’s studio practice has transformed to harbor an investment in the body, exploring limits, resistance, and the loss of control. Grounded in performance, his multidisciplinary practice is built upon intimacy, urgency, collaboration, and learning – cultivated by a deep interest in how energy is directed, rerouted, transformed and transferred. His condition has become a motor for movement-based performance, driving an evolving practice of energetic restraint and release learned through training and research into the specifics of his own body and other energy systems. Within a growing mythos that has materialized through this exploration, a space for fantasy and freedom is created through the corresponding objects that emerge from the process. Gould’s work, while rooted in performance, draws from the history of sculpture, the built and natural world, ancient symbology, and a care for the principles of craft. Sculpture, drawing, images and video are used to further research and expand ideas into new forms. With the body as a source - and often in collaboration with others , materials, and the environment - each endeavor is powered by a search for deeper understanding, meaning, transformation, and empathy.
Gould has performed site-specific works throughout the country, from varied landscapes to institutional spaces – leading to solo gallery exhibitions, performances at museums and cultural centers, and extensive collaborations across disciplines. He has performed and coordinated projects at unique sites such as salt flats in Death Valley, a limestone cave in Kansas City, a bunker in the Marin Headlands, and a moving vessel on the Chicago River. Gould received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2015, apprenticed with master craftsmen in California, and was a 2015 Ox-Bow Fellow. He was an artist-in-residence at Kickstarter’s Headquarters in 2017 and at Queenslab in New York City in 2018. He is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant recipient, was a Haystack Open Studio Resident in 2019, a 2020 Lighton International Artists Exchange Program grant recipient, and a 2021 NYFA Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work.
Born in Grass Valley, California in 1993, Gould was raised in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in a Gold Rush era town, between decommissioned mines and the Yuba River – the geography of which has greatly informed his commitment to site specific projects and reinforced the importance of place. Most recently, Gould has been presented by and shown new works and performances at KANAL Centre Pompidou, Liberal Arts Roxbury, Bozar, The Center for Craft, Lyles & King, and The Dallas Contemporary.
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