HARVEY BENGE

Harvey Benge (NZ) maakt foto’s in stedelijk omgevingen die hem vreemd voorkomen. En met die foto ‘s maakt hij boeken. Zijn werk is mysterieus, niets is solide. De foto’s vertonen onderhuidse contrasten en conflicten waardoor u zich afvraagt wat er net is gebeurd en wat er kan gebeuren. Benge geeft een stem aan de achteloze en dubbelzinnige alledaagsheid. Zijn foto ’s gaan over tijdelijkheid en waarheid.

In association with Auckland’s AUT School of Art & Design, Benge has conducted workshops with many well known international photographers and curators including Antoine d’Agata, Lewis Baltz, Alec Soth, John Gossage, Paul Graham, Rineke Dijkstra, Todd Hido, Pieter Hugo, Quentin Bajac (chief curator photography MoMA NYC) and Sandra Phillips (curator SF MoMA).

“In his search for the absurd and bizarre in the urban landscape….small moments of everyday life flash with ambiguity and tension, contrasts and conflicts. Part humorous…often he shows disturbing signs of differences, small anarchies… an urban dream at the edges of reality.” – Deichtorhallen, Hamburg

“One of the few photographers today who does as much for the poetics as for the philosophy of photography.”  – Markus Schaden, Cologne

“The work reveals a sublime banality, arresting moments that have no retreat. Your scenes in the street seem to push forward… a very fresh strange way of looking.” – Justine Kurland, New York.

“I don’t know how I would categorize the photographs Harvey Benge takes. He’s certainly not the only person doing this kind of work. He also is not the only person to have made a book containing these little fragments extracted from the world. However, the majority of books made around pictures like Harvey’s end up trying way too hard to be clever. That’s the curse of this kind of photography: It is clever, at least to some extent, and it is so tempting to exploit that cleverness. But the cleverness can never be the point of the whole exercise. Unlike all these other books Harvey’s Some Things You Should Have Told Me is genuinely moving; it tells you a story, and I have no idea how I would talk about that story. The story is never fully revealed, drawing the viewer back in. Inevitably, some things will not be resolved (something else many photographers dislike — Harvey, however, does not shy away from uncertainty); and that’s fine. This book seems to have flown under a lot of radars; and while I have spent a lot of time with it, I forgot to include it in my list of my favourite books 2013. But it’s going to be in this year’s list for sure. Some Things You Should Have Told Me has everything a great photobook should have: Great pictures, a great concept, and more.” – Jörg Colberg