de re touch

Benedict Drew

A video artwork for digital screens on London Underground
2 November 2015 – 1 March 2016

British artist Benedict Drew was commissioned by Art on the Underground to make a video artwork for London Underground. Titled ‘de-re-touch’ the work was created in direct response to London Underground’s unique public environment and embedded amongst the cycle of real adverts displayed on the Underground’s digital screens. At only eight seconds long, ‘de-re-touch’ is messy, scrawling and fast, in stark contrast to the adverts it sits amongst. The work seeks to question the culture of image retouching in advertising and the resulting images of bodies we experience on a daily basis.

‘de-re-touch’ was displayed on digital screens in over 60 stations across the London Underground network. It was accompanied by an audio piece comprised of ten tracks, available to download for free from the Art on the Underground website. Together the video and audio works reference Drew’s wider interest in our relationship to an increasingly sophisticated digital world and how our daily lives are mediated through digital interfaces.


Drew works across video, sculpture and music. He has a substantial background in experimental music that dates back to his time at art school in the 1990’s, having worked more recently on projects with Café Oto, Resonance FM, London Musicians’ Collective and many musicians including Tom Chant.

Benedict Drew (b. 1977). Forthcoming and recent exhibitions include British Art Show 8; KAPUT, QUAD, Derby (2015); Heads May Roll, Matt’s Gallery, London; The Persuaders, Adelaide Festival, SASA Gallery Adelaide, Australia; Zero Hour Petrified, Ilam Campus Gallery, School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury, New Zealand (all 2014); The Onesie Cycle, Rhubaba, Edinburgh; Now Thing, Whitstable Biennale; This Is Feedback, Outpost, Norwich; Gliss, Cell Project Space, London; and The Persuaders, Circa Site / AV Festival, Newcastle. He is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.

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