People Like Us

About artist / group: 

Vicki Bennett. In short, it could be said that PLU, who through eleven years of digital collaging have achieved avant-garde icon status, merely comment on various cultures and explore their most extreme manifestations. PLU projects make reference to the most absurd stereotypical aspects of life in different cultures by re-contextualising sounds and images from the margins of society. Their work uses material from obscure radio programmes, especially from South-eastern Britain and BBC four, including babbling and idiotic dialogue; the music recalls polka dances, with a lot of kitsch and all that a culture is, deep down, usually ashamed of. Take, for instance, an image of the Alps, filled with happy couples on ski lifts. We can also observe the stupid faces of a family in front of the TV, industrious workers, clean farming machinery, idyllic landscapes, friendly secretaries, devoted housewives and other similar stereotypical, well-known television icons, which Vicki Bennett-who is also a committed theoretician and a practical advocate of the "copyleft" or "no-copyright" point of view-steals from various archives and simultaneously computer-processes them, adding other humorous interventions, and so constructing her very own special Christmas tree. Thanks to this simultaneous editing, a surreal world of failed relationships and miscommunication emerges in which the presented interviewees, lost stars and found sounds connect in a beautiful loop of references and repetitions. For example, love song-an old passion of Vicki Bennett-lulls the audience into a trance of unique monotones. The artist describes herself as "an heiress of British satire, although it has not had a great influence" on her. In any case, she is, as she says, a surrealist and an absurdist, with a real gift for bitter, dry humour, which has filled her work for many years. The musical part of her performances has become ever more important to her, and she has been actively recording it on albums with such bizarre names as Recyclopaedia Britannica, We Edit Life. A Fistful of Knuckles, Thermos Explorer, Lowest Common Dominator, Lassie House, Another Kind of Humour, Another Kind of Murder, and so on. Listening to these albums, one easily recognises quite a bit from her unique audio-visual manner. Vicki Bennett recently received access to the extremely abundant film archive established by Rick Prelinger in New York in 1983, which comprises more than 48,000 "ephemeral" educational, industrial and amateur films. The archive is officially owned by the Library of Congress, but unofficially…

List of artist's projects