Jordi Benito’s radical Actionism, as well as his active participation, together with a whole generation of artists, in the development of Conceptual practices in Catalonia throughout the 1970s, secured his standing as one of the most significant representatives of this movement in Spain. An intuitive artist, he performed actions in his native town of Granollers, and was the driving force behind a young generation of Catalan Conceptual artists who in 1971 and 1972 took part in that town in the Mostra d’Art Jove, organised by the critic Alexandre Cirici and the ceramicist Antoni Cumella. During that time Benito performed several actions with his body in different spaces in Granollers, Barcelona and other venues where the young Conceptual artists organised their actions and encounters: in the pelota court of a private house in Vilanova de la Roca, in the Vallès, in the Llotja del Tint in Banyoles, and in Pamplona. After joining the collective actions of the Grup de Treball (1973–75), a pioneer Catalan Conceptual group, Benito embraced the practice of body art and over the years became known for his performances.
Benito’s early practice consisted of simple actions in which the body was used as a pretext to construct a language related to the environment, to occupy and vacate the space, to measure the body or its impact when colliding against a static and hard volume. Here he tested the physical resistance of the body, pushing it to the limit and learning to control it. The works in the MACBA Collection document three actions performed by Benito in the group exhibition Transformacions, which took place at the Sala de l’Associació del Personal de la Caixa de Pensions, Barcelona, in October 1972, and which included the artists Ferran García Sevilla, Sílvia Gubern, Àngel Jové, Carlos Pazos, Josep Ponsatí and Lluís Utrilla, among others. The event helped to consolidate Actionism in Catalonia. Benito’s contributions, Experiències and Transformacions, consisted of situations of experimentation with materials through simple bodily actions like blowing, getting wet or stepping on something. For example, in Transformació del gel en aigua mitjançant la calor del cos (Transforming ice into water through body heat), Benito took an ice cube and held it in his hands until it melted; in Transformació d'un terròs de terra mitjançant la descomposició i la humitat (Transforming a lump of earth through decomposition and humidity), he crumbled a hard lump of earth, mixed it with water and modelled it; and in Acció sobre paper de fumar (Action on cigarette paper), he made the paper disappear by blowing on it.