Ben Hagary is an artist whose films and video installations tell absurdist tales that explore identity, communication, and the environment. Hagari constructs elaborate theater-like sets as the backdrops for his films against which a protagonist, usually played by the artist, confronts the unique conditions of his surroundings. In his films, environment and inhabitant are mutually constitutive; domestic spaces function both as prison and refuge. Works dissolve the distinction between theatrical façade and backstage by opening onto spaces where magic, subterfuge, and poetry collide. Extending from the screen to installation format, photographs, and prints, Hagari’s work is the result of wide-ranging research and a broad interest in different fields, such as literature, theater, art history, and scientific fascination.
Hagari’s work has been shown internationally including solo exhibitions at The Rose Art Museum, MA, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Flora Ars+Natura in Bogotá. Selected group exhibitions include the SculptureCenter in New York as part of their In Practice survey of contemporary sculpture, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, KIT in Düsseldorf, and The Israel Museum, among others. Hagari received awards and fellowships including Israel Ministry of Culture Prize in Art, The Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant, The David Berg Foundation Fellowship at Columbia University, and The Chami Fruchter Award for an Emerging Video Artist.
He has attended several residency programs, including LMCC residency Process Space at Governors Island, NY, Fountainhead Residency in Miami, and the Bronner Residency in Düsseldorf. Hagari received a BEd.F.A from Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College, Israel (2008) and an MFA from Columbia University, New York (2014).