Sunday, April 29, 2018

Photo London - book signings

If you're planning to go to Photo London, which runs at Somerset House 17-20 May, there are more than enough book signings to keep to most photobook collectors happy. I'll be signing my new bookwork THE MONTH BEFORE TRUMP at the Dewi Lewis stand, Saturday May 19 at 3pm. You can check out all the book signings HERE

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

THE MONTH BEFORE TRUMP - From UK publisher Dewi Lewis

Dewi Lewis is publishing my latest bookwork - THE MONTH BEFORE TRUMP. The book will be released at Photo London where on Saturday May 19 at 3pm I will do a book signing.

Dewi Lewis talks about the book: In the month before the 2016 presidential election New Zealand photographer Harvey Benge spent time in San Francisco and New York making the images in this book. In many ways these 59 photographs represent a time capsule – places, people and scraps of visual information – that is an affectionate and sometimes critical look at this mash up of a society that in October 2016 was at an existential watershed. This work does not pretend to be an objective look at America, it is simply Benge’s subjective view. The images are filtered through Benge’s own sensibilities, formed by his country’s own brand of politics where socialism is embraced and not a dirty word. And, of course, the states of California and New York present just one aspect of what it means to be an American.

There is no judgment here, just Benge’s desire to understand and attempt to tap into something resembling truth. There is a sense of profound sadness here too, of futility and a feeling that not much lies behind the fake news, the hard sell, or the glossy surface of things. Despite all of this there is resilience and resistance. Stoicism is in the air and there is a feeling that things will come right.

Well known for his many photobooks, Harvey Benge has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Prix du Livre at Arles Photography Festival, France. He has exhibited his work extensively in both public and private galleries in Britain, throughout Europe, and in New Zealand. Benge is also involved in curatorial projects and runs a series of ongoing photography workshops with international photographers in Auckland.

THE MONTH BEFORE TRUMP is a 64 page book, 234 x 165mm with 59 colour photographs. Publication Date: May 18th 2018.  A special edition, limited to 100 copies is also available, with the book comes a 7"x 5" signed and numbered print.

You can pre-order the book by going HERE

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The subversion of images and the war on truth

In a post on Reading The Pictures, a site dealing with visual politics and photojournalism writer Marta Zarzycka considers the media take on events following the recent shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Zarzycka: In the weeks since the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the media scrutiny of its teenage survivors has been relentless. It has been further fueled by their powerful speeches at the March for Our Lives earlier this month: TIME Magazine featured them on their cover, Teen Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar published their op-eds; their faces appeared on protesters’ placards, T-shirts, posters and on city murals. 

While for many they represent agents of change, moral referents, latter-day anti-Vietnam War activists, and future leaders, alt-righters, white supremacists, conservatives, and Donald Trump supporters (with the enthusiastic endorsement of the First Son, Donald Trump, Jr.) have declared war on them. In this war, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle is replaced by such weapons as slander, conspiracy theories and misinformation. Parkland students are portrayed as “crisis actors” paid by George Soros or political puppets of Hillary Clinton; they are likened to Nazis, to terrorists, to “young fascists-in-training” who undermine the fundamental principles of American freedom.

This campaign relies on images of hate, as photographs, memes, and videos are circulated by right-wing media outlets, such as Breitbart, Infowars, and others on social media. Digitally doctored or taken out of context, they ridicule, troll, attack, and mock: in a recent image, David Hogg is made to appear as though he is making a Nazi salute after his speech at the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.; in another, his speech is dubbed over by Adolf Hitler, his voice captured, silenced, and controlled through the misappropriation of technology.

In the visual fallout of the Parkland shooting, we can no longer assume the inherent truth of the image, as concepts like meaning, portrait, representation or mimesis, traditionally considered in the medium of photography, are rendered obsolete through the art of technological deception.

The piece is important and well worth a read in its entirety, you can do so HERE.

Monday, April 9, 2018

British photobook publisher Dewi Lewis - advice for photographers who want to make a book

Mimi Mollica'a Terra Nostra published by Dewi Lewis

Established in 1994, Dewi Lewis Publishing is one of the leading photographic publishers in the world. Its award-winning authors include Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Bruce Gilden, Jacob Aue Sobol and Laia Abril, among many others. 

Dewi Lewis, who runs Dewi Lewis Publishing alongside his partner Caroline Warhurst, is a sought after voice in the photography world and an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. In 2009, he was awarded the Society’s inaugural RPS Award for Outstanding Service to Photography. In addition to serving on the jury for numerous international awards, Lewis has been a “Master” three times for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclasses. 

Dewi's advice, the nitty gritty: Firstly decide why, then what, then how. Why do you want a book? Is it the best way to take things forward for you? Do you really have something to say? Is there a way of bringing the work together coherently? When you look at the full body of work is there a way of giving it a coherent sequence? Is there an audience for it? What would be the best way of reaching that audience? What form should the book take? The questions should go on and on. The key to a successful book is in the answers and in being totally honest, self-aware, and self-critical. And, if at the end of the process you are still 100% convinced, then go for it.

You can read the full story HERE and go to Dewi Lewis Publishing website HERE

Harvey Benge's The Lament published by Dewi Lewis