Ezra Benus

Through their paintings, Ezra Benus explores disability and sickness as “aesthetic markers” to visualize the “invisible aspects of disability identity/experience.” Describing their work, Ezra writes:

“The work is steeped in rituals of living with chronic illness, and in the implications of a medicalized embodiment and personal identification and social reality of disability. My paintings use a system of color derived from the colors of the medication I interact with on a daily basis, ongoing over many years, a ritual for every day for all of time. I deploy this into abstract formulations of the visceral vulnerability and hiddenness arising from societal constructions of time, productivity, and medical pathologizing of disability and illness that impact opportunity for meaningful inclusion and value. Painting the non apparent is a political act of mark-making, in formulations of pain and experiences of illness on the terms of Crip time, space, aesthetics, and productivity. The work offers an alternative space, in opposition to the arbitrary scales and valuations created by Capitalist notions of value based on capacity to be “productive,” as well as the medical–industrial complex that tries to measure and determine what pain looks like, and, subsequently, what type of care is prescribed and available.”

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