'Butts of Florence (No. 15)', 2015
19.5 x 15 inches, Intaglio image print on Arches cover paper 250 gm, edition of 10 (3 donated to MATERIAL) + 2AP
On the day you depart, there’s not much time for romantic, heart-tugging reflection. Your ride leaves at 6:30, continuing the small and consistent waves of anxious pin pricks. You make it to the airport on time, early even, able to enjoy a last cappuccino immediately followed by a macchiato. The euro centesimi, pulled from a sandwich bag you found in a back pocket of your suitcase. The ziplock probably used to safely transport some kind of electronic device you didn’t even end up using. It’s really not until the plane has been taxied out and churns to a start on its own accord that you begin to think. Hit with the consequences, longings and excitements of the departure home. In the air, still diagonal, you look out, holding sight of every familiar architectural landmark you can find. Terracotta roofs and that yellow I never got the name of. Desperately, you look for the bigger markers that make their way onto the usual postcards: the dome, the river, the palatial garden. Such ideal vantage point, though out of your control. A roll of the dice from the Lufthansa Gods—right window? Left? Aisle seat? Still, you look desperately. And then, the Cascine, the Arno, the trickle of bridges, the Cupola and all of Oltarno. For a moment, the whole place, from such perspective that you can block it all out with your thumb. The Munich-bound plane banks left and the city in miniature falls below the oval window and is replaced with direct, blinding sun.
Early on, Erik Benjamins was seduced by the unforgiving spiciness of ikan rica-rica, an Indonesian-style slow cooked white fish, smothered in chili paste. Today, he still thinks about that fish because he’s found that the uncomfortable and unpredictable have great potential in opening up intimate channels with which to learn from another. Working across the visual, performing and culinary arts, Erik proposes slower moving and hungrier question-asking, especially as we move between home and away places.