We are pleased to welcome artist Erik Benjamins to a residency at Spring as part of our bathroom intervention series. While in residence, Erik will begin a process of open-ended research and community collaboration to realize “Spring Soap,” a bespoke liquid hand soap to be installed and used within the onsite washroom. By way of observation, conversation, site visits, meal-sharing, question-asking, writing, and smelling, Erik will explore how fragrance can poetically or literally reflect Spring Workshop’s identity as a social, artistic, cultural, and geographic site. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Erik will work with longtime friend and supporter, The Institute for Art and Olfaction, to produce the soap in the wake of his time spent in Hong Kong. As a subtle intervention within the daily rhythms of Spring, this soap proposes hand-washing and smelling as intimate actions with which to engage with place, its dreams and frictions.
As an artist, writer, and educator, Los Angeles-based Erik Benjamins celebrates the sensing body as a means to move in the world. His practice is concept-driven, materially unfaithful, and unapologetically optimistic. From an experimental Florentine travel memoir to custom scented candles to a vanishing cookbook, Erik employs tenets of performance, namely a sensitivity to duration, body-to-body empathy, and a sensory spectatorship. Language and writing are also integral to the research, production, and installation of his work. Lately, he’s explored both the tourist and the homebody as privileged identities with which to learn from another.