William Eggleston once asked Harvey Benge – ‘What are you doing these days?’ ‘Photographing the urban social landscape’, said Benge. ‘Don’t talk bullshit; what are you doing?’ Eggleston insisted. ‘Making strange pictures in cities’, replied Benge.
However you look at them, Harvey Benge’s photographs are mostly urban and generally strange. His work is mysterious; nothing is solid. The pictures capture contrasts and conflicts which leave you wondering what has just happened and what might happen next. He gives voice to the mundane and overlooked. His open-ended photographic sequences record small moments of everyday life that flash past with tension and ambiguity: an urban dream on the edge of reality where figures retreat, seats are empty, phones don’t work. Any and every interpretation is a valid interpretation. What is going on? You decide.
With photographs made in Paris, London, New York and Rome, this new intensely personal, some might say autobiographical book, is enigmatically entitled Some Things You Should Have Told Me. It is a remorseless meditation on loss and misadventure, pain and impermanence, the inevitability of change. Questions are asked; there are no answers.
Benge lives and works between Auckland and Paris. His interest lies in the strange anthropology of cities, observing and making photographs of the unusual and overlooked in the human landscape where nothing is as it seems. He makes photographic series’ which evolve into bookworks. As well as this, Benge is also involved in curatorial projects and at Auckland’s AUT University ongoing photography workshops with international photographers and curators.
Harvey Benge’s photobooks are either commercially published photobooks or published under his own imprint FAQEDITIONS.