First Fridays are a time to gather and share – food, ideas, art, gossip. First Fridays is entirely informal: a bring-something-to-share lunch followed usually by some kind of artist presentation. Our guest this month is Ben Altman.

Ben Atlman is an English artist based in the US. He says:

‘I trained as an artist by studying physics, towing icebergs, racing sailboats, and working in commercial photography My work explores histories of mass violence and how they intersect with the contemporary world. I work with photographs, installation, video, and participation. I’m British but also a naturalized US citizen, having lived in the US for more than half my life. I’m an emigrant, the grandson of immigrants, and the son of parents, Jewish and Anglican, who both abandoned their cultures of origin. So I often use my home as context and question. Only collateral members of my father’s family were caught up in the Holocaust but by studying such episodes I have become acutely aware of the contingent nature of my privilege. I make art about history to understand the present as much as to unravel the past. I will talk about my project The More That Is Taken Away, in which I dig out, by hand, a mass grave behind my house.

Ben Altman’s work was selected for the Houston Center for Photography’s 2015 Fellowship, the 2015 Critical Mass Top 50, and other recent awards and grants. He has exhibited at galleries, museums, and festivals across the United States, in London, and in Poland. His work is available from Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.’

This month we are not in our usual venue. You can find us in Studio 30 in the Hex, which is opposite the old Aller Park school building. Just above the main car park, turn right onto Park Road, then bear right where the road forks. You will find a small car park along this road, and the Hex is on the other side of the street, opposite the old Aller Park school building.