James Beckett (b. 1977, Harare, Zimbabwe, lives and works in Amsterdam) explores a variety of interests of a historical nature – most notably the development (and subsequent demise) of European industry, chemistry and dentistry – as well as the more metaphysical aspects of dowsing and voodoo. Museological display mechanisms are key in Beckett’s presentations, with craft-like assembly placing the work uncomfortably between a bourgeois decorative art and a crude social reality. The outcomes of these investigations entertain the peculiarity of human behaviour.
Recent solo exhibitions include: KaVo Zahnarztstuhl Regie 1520 A, Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam; Dowsing Schools, Artspace, Aukland/Physics Room, Christchurch, 2014; Passionate Advocate for a Poisoned Earth, TWAAS offices, New York, 2013; Of Animal and Inventory, Blank Projects, Cape Town, 2012; My Friend Andre’s Grandmother’s Sawmill, Neuer Kunstverein, Vienna; Khevsurvite Derivative (Potential Dwellers in Ravines), T293, Rome; Zaklady na Zycie (Plant Life), STUK, Leuven, 2011.
Recent group exhibitions include: Annals of the Twenty-Ninth Century, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, 2014; A Thousand Varied Uses, Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid; Scenographies, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; Liquid Assets, der steirische herbst, Graz, 2013; Beyond Imagination, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis, San Francisco; Dak’art, African Biennale, Dakar, 2012; New Existentialism, Part 2, ALTEFABRIK, Rapperswil-Jona, 2011; La Fabrique Sonore, Domain Pommery, Reims; XV Unidentified Species, Galleria Boavista, Lisbon, 2011; Tutta la memoria del mondo GAM, Turin, 2010; Calling out of Context, ICA, London, 2009.