The Lament, Harvey Benge’s eighth bookwork published by us, continues his investigation into the nature of things through a celebration of the democracy of images. Questions are asked though few answers given. These are places we have all been, if only in the mind.
As with all Benge’s projects, The Lament is partly fiction and partly autobiographical. The pictures mine the unusual and the perverse. They make strange connections and exploit the unexpected. Nothing is as it seems, though we nevertheless sense that there is a truth in everything. Mystery prevails and it is up to the viewer to bring his or her own life experience to the reading of the work.
The Lament deals with loss, change and the inevitability of impermanence. All thoughts, emotions and circumstances that each and every one us have experienced and have dealt with in our lives. There is sexual misadventure too. Yet despite the apparent angst, Benge isn’t about to slit his wrists anytime soon: a wry sense of humour runs through the work and if you look hard enough you might even spot a sense of optimism.
New Zealander, Harvey Benge works in Auckland and Paris, though his photographs are made in all corners of the globe and the locations remain indeterminate. Well known for his many photobooks, he has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Prix du Livre at Arles Photography Festival, France. He has also 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 at Auckland’s AUT University he runs a series of ongoing photography workshops with international photographers.
96 pages, 290mm x 207mm