A MIND

2021

Bennett explores autism by representing studio spaces as the mind. How autism has been hard for people to understand? What is different about them? Why are they defined as disabled? And how do they suffer? Each image consists of a story behind the artist’s personal and overall experience with those who have autism.

 

Representing these experiences to be treated as foreign, to be a lesser human due to his disability. We see the moments of insult and times his autistic tendencies limit his ability to understand the world properly. These images combine the ‘muted’ understanding of the condition with the building modern-day obsession of consuming material possession over personal worth. The work uses this photographic campaign appearance to bring awareness; this wants and needs to know about the condition. The text represents the human thought and repetition of the autistic mind, shot like an advertisement, promoting, and creating this want for the autistic to speak out. 

“We know that most people with autism are considered disabled but that some choose to see themselves rather in terms of difference and reject the idea that they 'suffer from' their condition” (Stuart Murry, 2012).

The artist explores whether he is suffering through exploring his own experience and making aware of these issues through the simulation of the mind and rapid thought. He takes inspiration from the mind of Steph Wilson and Barbara Kruger. Wilson’s use of the empty space and minimalism, with Bennett creating a surreal representation of the mind. Kruger’s use of text to represent this consumerist view, as if these become advertisements for those who ‘suffer’. In a nod to Bacon, Bennett uses the idea of ‘framing’ the personal space and expressing the mind via the studio and by using text, thereby expressing the constant repetition of thought, and thinking.

 

For each image, the artist used various props to express multiple thinking events. Moments that he experienced were portrayed through minor actions. Minimalism is used to express the vastness of the mind and conscious thought. The square is used to reveal the individual’s thoughts and merges them with the outside actions. Bennett wanted to represent people's desire for materialistic objects, and the need for these objects and to highlight the current muted understanding of autism. Bennett’s campaign, an attempt at unmuting autism, goes some way to highlighting the need for better understanding.