Some Things You Should Have Told Me

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, said 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.
Benge 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 of loss and misadventure, pain and impermanence, the inevitability of change. The reader is invited to ask what should have been told: Who is the You? Who is the Me? Questions are asked; there are no answers.

Harvey Benge

New Zealander Harvey Benge works in Auckland and Paris.
He has been a full-time camera artist since 1993 when he published his first photobook Four Parts Religion, Six Parts Sin. He is well known for his many photobooks which have been published in Britain, Germany, France and Japan. Benge’s bookworks are conceptual in substance and deal with the complexity of urban life, and the nature of seeing and understanding. They have been exhibited at the Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf; the Antwerp Foto Museum, Belgium; Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam; The Photographers’ Gallery, London, and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His books have twice been finalists in the Prix du Livre at the Rencontres d’Arles, France. Benge’s photographs have also been shown extensively in public and dealer galleries in Britain, throughout Europe, and in New Zealand.

“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

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2016

UN-SOLVED PUZZLES RE-MAIN– FAQ Editions

2015

Melbourne – FAQ Editions
Will Any Lonely Person Write To Ponsonby – FAQ Editions

2014

How Humans Made God – Superlabo, Japan
You Won’t Be With Me Tomorrow – Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK

2013

Lost Home – Super Labo, Japan
Some Things You Should Have Told Me – Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
Auckland photographs – LANDFALL 225 – Otago University Press

2012
..Exclusivity Dwells In Habitat – FAQ Editions
NYC – FAQ Editions
Harvey’s Point – FAQ Editions

2011

Paris Diary, November 2010 – FAQ Editions
Still Looking For It – FAQ Editions
Truth And Various Deceptions – FAQ Editions

2010

All The Places I’ve Ever Known – Kehrer Verlag, Germany
Birds – FAQ Editions
One Day – As photographer and editor – Kehrer Verlag, Germany
Paris Diary, May 2010 – FAQ Editions

LINKS

Website
Blog

 

HHMG-1

How Humans Made God

The title of this series and bookwork – How Humans Made God – came from a lecture given by the [...]
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STYSHTM-4

Some Things You Should Have Told Me

William Eggleston once asked Harvey Benge – What are you doing these days? Photographing the urban social landscape, said Benge. Don’t [...]
>READ MORE