Maria Benjamin's work explores different forms of collective practice through event-based activities and publications as well as videos and installations. In 2002 she co-founded Guestroom with Ruth Höflich, as a means of creating a space to develop active engagement and collaboration with other artists.
As a part of Guestroom Maria recently developed The Librarians (2008), a work for the ICA's exhibition series Nought to Sixty. The piece created a multifunctional environment that was simultaneously used for exhibitions, performances, production and reflection. In the space, Guestroom inserted eight video-portraits of selected art professionals describing how certain books, which were also made available to the public, influenced their artistic development.
During her fellowship at Vasl, Benjamin explored the lives of Pakistani Christians through her own family connections in Lahore. She also engaged with the children whose livelihood depends on horse-riding people on Karachi's beaches .
Maria Benjamin was born in Broxburn and lives and works in London. She has been working with Ruth Höflich at the Guestroom since 2002, developing publications, events and videos. Recent presentations of their work include Zoo 09, London (2009); Subvision, a collaboration by Kunsthalle, Deichtorhallen and HBK, Hamburg (2009); Lawson Park Library, Grizedale Arts, Coniston (2009); It's not for reading, it's for making, formcontent, London, (2009); WE, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles (2008); Nought to Sixty, ICA London (2008).
Based in Karachi, Vasl is an artist-led initiative for contemporary Pakistani art and artists. Bringing together local and international practitioners, it facilitates an intensive exchange of ideas in art practice through residencies and workshops.