Nothing human is strange to me, Ben Judd, 2018, Photo: Rod Duncan

Ben Judd
The Absolute
18 September to 20 November 2021

Performances 17 September, 6.30pm and 7.30pm

The Absolute will enrich the world previously developed for Judd’s exhibition at De Montfort University in 2018. Drawing on Leicester’s rich history, including the 20th century immigration of dispossessed groups, the exhibition will suggest that a lost community, the Welfarers, once occupied the area now inhabited by De Montfort University.

The mythos of the community is explored through performance, installation and moving image, revealing the characters that form the group’s hierarchy and its factions. The Absolute is an invitation to experience the community’s internal logic, it’s belief system and their history evidenced through the displays. The exhibition includes objects from Leicester City Museum, De Montfort University collections alongside commissioned textile artefacts.

Ideas around story-telling and community underpin much of Judd’s work. The fictional community of the Welfarers could be seen as a reincarnation of a lost sense of unity and cohesion; their desire to mend social rifts is poignant within the current divisive climate of nationalist thinking.

Visual and conceptual links will be made between the artefacts in the collections and the stories and histories of actual lost communities. Judd, along with his collaborators will make connections between these disparate elements to form an alternative history that reveals underlying lost narratives between past and present, old and new.

For the realisation of The Absolute, Judd has worked with a wide range of collaborators across choreography, musical composition, conducting, costume design and writing to build the world of the Welfarers.

Writer: Rod Duncan
Composer: Apostolis Psihramis
Choreographer: Dionysios Tsaftaridis
Costumer designer: Jo Cope
Costume and exhibition design: Roma Taylor
Musical director: Willard Welsford

Akti Magdalini konstantinou
Vivian Triantafyllopoulou
Panagiotis Pavlopoulos
Christina Prompona
James Brown

With the De Montfort University Chamber Choir:
Grace Bale
Lucinda Cockerill
Emma Franklin
Richard Grenfell
Gill Hawkes
Dan Kelly
Jeremy Kimber
Andy Watts
Clarissa Wells
Beckie Winter
Josh Wood

To book for the performances on 17 September please email