Simon Denny (b. 1982) lives and works in Berlin. He was born in Auckland, New Zealand and holds a BFA from Auckland University (2004). He completed his MFA (2009) from the Frankfurt Städelschule and has taken part in 4 residencies split between Western Europe and Australia (2007 to 2012).
Simon Denny’s work has challenged numerous themes entrenched in modern society’s globalized culture: the Internet, technological obsolescence, corporate culture, television broadcasting, and national identity. He is interested in technology’s role in shaping global culture and in the ways information is controlled and shared. The rapid technological growth and innovation seen by large corporations and start-ups alike since the dot com boom is a phenomenon which motivates Denny’s practice. He creates a dialogue with these ideas through installations that combine sculpture, graphics, and moving images.
The artist uses tech-centric sculptures, such as a television for a canvas, to convey his critical and creative responses to the contested space of the media-sphere. His intellectual and almost anecdotal approach highlights his evolution as an artist. Denny's works have challenged how television’s omnipresence changed society’s fabric. His practice addresses how contemporary ideologies are defined and fostered through global economic woes and the ways in which large corporations exert control over mass audiences. Most recently, Simon Denny has explored the materialization and commodification of information in the context of fast paced, tech-driven commerce.
Denny had been exhibiting domestically in New Zealand until 2007, however, whilst on his residency programme in Cologne his reach expanded to Germany and other Western European countries. Denny has had solo shows around the world in Beijing, Berlin, and New York. He was included in the 2008 Sydney Biennale and the 2009 Brussels Biennale. In 2012, he won the Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel. Denny was the only New Zealander who was exhibited at the main curated exhibition of the 2013 Venice Biennale. His work featured in a solo survey exhibition in early 2015 at MoMA PS1 titled The Innovators Dilemma. With the show Secret Power, Denny has represented New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.