Contemporary Arts Centre Announces Jane Benson: Half-Truths

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Steven Matijcio. Opens July 15, 2017

The story of two Iraqi brothers who escaped from Baghdad in early 2002 becomes a vehicle for British-born, NY-based artist Jane Benson (b. 1975) to explore the social reverberations caused by geo-cultural separation.

Benson uses music to tell this story in a dual-channel video entitled Finding Baghdad (Part A) which serves as the show’s centerpiece. The video begins with two instruments as they are perfectly split in two, then proceeds to a virtual duet played by the brothers on these half instruments, each on their own screen, from their respective new homes in Germany and Bahrain. In the process, the brothers momentarily bridge the distance through an emotional ballad that marries technology and tradition.

In a sister work shredded flags combine all the emblems of the countries where the brothers’ immediate family live. Half-Truths also features drawings made by repeated turns of Benson’s half-instruments, charcoal self-portraits made by blindly rubbing her own body and a series of incised texts that transform book pages into musical scales.

For more information visit

Jane Benson, Finding Baghdad (Part A) [video still], 2015. Image courtesy the Artist.