24 × 18 cm | 9 × 7 in 66 ills | 112 pages Paperback
Authors: Emma Cocker, Alun Rowlands, Pandora Syperek
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Communion is a documentation of the work of the British artist Ben Judd. Using a distinct and wide variety of methodologies within performance and video to explore the themes of scepticism and belief, Judd concentrates on those sects and sections of society pinned to marginalised, occult or esoteric belief systems, such as witches, clairvoyants and shamans.
Comprising commissioned text and colour imagery (original photography and stills gleaned from his video work), the book reveals the dual processes of art and the occult as tied up in a seemingly never-ending quest to uncover 'truths', both operating in an intriguing place where nothing is proven. Art is seen as a magical process, in which objects, images and ideas become transformed through the mutual belief of the artist and viewer. The roles that Judd adopts examine this fusion of practices, often positioning himself as the initiate, at the fulcrum between immersion and separation.
Judd explores how the rituals of these marginalised groups and individuals can be extended into actions realised by actors (hovering between immersion and a more knowing state), and how these actions can be interpreted in moving images. Positioning himself as participant and observer, Judd engages the grey area between ritual and performance, searching for an unreachable and idealised state of community. His practice imagines a process of coming together and a unifying of purpose and belief, thereby examining the individual in relation to the group and the ambiguity of whether the group offers freedom or conformity.