Francisca Benítez was born in Santiago, Chile, and has since 1998 lived and worked in New York.
Much of Francisca Benítez' practice revolves around the study of public space and the psychogeographic: How property issues, the jurisdictions of boundaries, lines and interactions of a city are being constantly re-defined and how the limits between public and private space take shape. Through a wide array of mediums she has investigated the nature of several typologies of ephemeral architectures that intermittently exist in public space: some originated by religious rituals, some by ludic activities, some by a basic need for survival.
Predominately drawn to dimensions and spaces around her that she considers to be overlooked or taken for granted, Benítez' engagement with the city is not only about identifying and recording hidden territories and demarcating neglected spaces, but also about personal encounters, chance meetings, and mutually verified acknowledgements of positioning and re-positionings.
Her most recent work has been concerned with the militarization of public space, and the ephemeral architectures of control that shape our movements through it. During her residency at Gasworks, Benítez aims to develop a performative walking tour provisionally entitled “through sites of dissent”, exploring sites of protest and conflict, during episodes of London's history.
Previous solo exhibitions include ORO DULCE, Die Ecke, Santiago, Chile (2011), EIGENTUMSGRENZE, Nada.Lokal, Vienna, Austria (2009), Chamber, Lokal.int, Biel-Bienne, Switzerland, and 450 W 42, Jersey City Museum, New Jersey, US (2008). The artist also participated in a number of group exhibitions, including L’œil sur les rues, Parc de la Villette, Paris, France (2011), The Street Files, Museo del Barrio, New York, US (2011), Contaminaciones Contemporáneas, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010), Reinventing Ritual, The Jewish Museum, New York, US (2009), and The Labyrinth Wall: From Mythology to Reality, Exit Art, New York, US (2008).
Benítez' residency is made possible through the partnership of BECA AMA and Gasworks. BECA AMA is an initiative set up to support contemporary art in Chile. Through their support of residencies, they are able to create opportunities for exchanges and connections for artists, generating an important platform for the dissemination of Chilean art worldwide.