Marissa Lee Benedict


This residency is part of our Chicago via Tel Aviv exchange with ARTPORT.

Marissa Lee Benedict

  • Spring 2017
  • Visiting Tel Aviv from Chicago, IL

Marissa Lee Benedict is a sculptor, writer, lecturer and avid amateur of many fields and disciplines. Motivated by a deep curiosity about the function and dysfunction of social, ecologic and industrial systems, her practice is one of active observation; of engagement; of instigation; of experimentation. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, EXPO Chicago, the DePaul Art Museum, threewalls and Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, IL; at Hauser & Wirth (Somerset) in the U.K.; and at Contemporary Art Brussels in Belgium. Benedict received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).



Before visiting Tel Aviv, we asked Benedict what she was most excited to explore:

“Taking as subject arid conditions and dusty landscapes, water – or the lack thereof – naturally comes into focus (which feels like a return for me, having grown up in Southern California). The water insecurity issues face by Israel, and the infrastructural responses to this, are strangely “high tech” in a “low tech,” sculptural-kind-of-way. Take, for example, the “hexacover” infrastructure that Mekorot – the national Israeli water company – began developing in 2012. The forms are simple, plastic pieces that naturally settle as solid structural skins over the surface of a reservoir, blocking and slowing evaporation in the dry desert heat. Similar such reservoir “covers” were deployed a few later on seven Los Angeles reservoir, ostensibly to fight drought conditions. These, rather than armor, are rather sillier and were nicknamed “shade balls.” I’ve been taking footage and creating 3D point-cloud models of the Los Angeles sites and I hope to do the same of the Mekorot sites if I can gain access while in Tel Aviv. “