2ndlife: Ben Jeans Houghton

20 January - 10 February

Free & open to all


2ndlife is a single channel film embedded in an installation at Bloc Projects in Sheffield.

2ndlife is the second UK solo show by Ben Jeans Houghton.

2ndlife is a first person film essay that uses the places and protagonists encountered on an inner and outer journey to and through Japan, to constellate a self reflexive narrative discussing perspectives on the history, philosophy and reality of suicide. The roving point of view camera embarks from the North East of England and travels to the metropolis of Tokyo, through the Zen gardens of Kyoto before reaching Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mt. Fuji. The films animistic narratives afford personhood and give voice to places, objects, animals and the Internet in dialogue with the inner monologue of the protagonist. Throughout the film makes reference to mythology, folklore, cyberspace and dreamstates as it takes the viewer on a chronological journey through person and place whilst mapping the emotional terrain and magnetism of the existential.

Untitled, Joy Labinjo, 2019

Untitled, Joy Labinjo, 2019

Ben Jeans Houghton creates work in sculpture, installation, film, photography, drawing, writing, performance and sound. Through these mediums he explores the study and practice of Magic/k, Astrology, Anamism, Philosophy, Cinema and Psychology. The work seeks to invigorate and question its various themes by utilising and subverting their mechanics whilst subsuming their subject specific language and structures by re-applying them to new contexts. Throughout sympathies between Alchemy and Contemporary Art; ritually arranging objects and symbols in the physical, visible world, to create narrative dialogue that affects and changes our invisible, conceptual and emotional world, are of key concern.

With Matthew Giraudeau he is the co-founder of the ARKA Group; a fluid collective of creative collaborators who aim to make scientific and philosophical concepts tangible to a wider audience through the generation of Visual Art. Ben’s work has and will be shown with CCA – Glasgow, Workplace Gallery – Gateshead, Gymnasium Gallery – Berwick, Bloc Projects – Sheffield, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – Gateshead, Generator Projects – Dundee, Whitstable Bienniale – Whitstable, Space Inbetween Gallery – London, BFI – London, Circa Projects – Newcastle, Zabludowicz Gallery – London, NGCA – Sunderland and Channel Four.