Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Duane Michals - ABCD, M for Magritte and more...

Duane Michals new bookwork - ABCD Duane - relates with his typical humour and wisdom, intimate themes of his life and art. The book is a scrapbook memoir illustrated by his works, from portraits of Magritte to Warhol, to painted tintypes, and the revolutionary multiple-image sequences and handwritten texts for which he is best known.

Michals' page on Magritte cuts straight to the chase. Magritte never disappointed. He transcended the obvious cultural cliches. All authentic artists invent their own mystery; they refuse to regurgitate a public domain vocabulary. One cannot duplicate their uniqueness. When I see a Magritte painting I know that nobody else could have come up with that particular notion, as private as poetry.

ABCD Duane is a wonderful book. It never disappoints.

Time Magazine says of the book - This is a retrospective not of Duane Michals' work but, rather, his sensibility. Here in one small volume is all the wit, charm, serious intent, and artfulness of Michals himself, plus his signature antic wisdom to make it a joyful ride.

And The Wall Street Journal - What is disarming and unique about Duane Michals' ideas is the humble means by which he chooses to translate them. His repertoire of special effects is stubbornly unflashy. Instead of smoke machines or lens distortion or solarized tone reversal, or anything in the digital toolbox, he makes long exposures and has his actors move. The treat of Mr. Michals' own art collection inlcudes drawings by Balthus, David Hockney, an etching by Giorgio Morandi and lithographs by Magritte. Most artists wouldn't risk the comparison. Mr. Michals has nothing to fear. His art doesn't look like anyone else's.

Duane Michals - Dr. Heisenberg's Magic Mirror of Uncertainty, 1998

Sunday, December 21, 2014

GOODNIGHT KIWI a New Zealand Video Art Festival

Before the advent of 24 hour broadcasting in 1994 the evening closedown of New Zealand state television was signaled first by a two-minute animation called the Goodnight Kiwi, then followed by several hours of either static or a television test pattern.

The 12 videos offered in this festival are a collection of alternative sign-offs, transitions into the post-broadcast hour and/or potential place holders to fill the twilight hours between regular broadcasts. Alternately humorous, abstract and challenging, Goodnight Kiwi presents a series of direct addresses to the viewer. Recognising the ubiquity of the internet across the globe, this programme is designed to be broadcast somewhere between the hours of 2-4am. Reflecting the often solitary and ritual nature of technological occupation, Goodnight Kiwi variously offers aesthetic transformation, mass media critique or moments of personal reflection arising from the effects of exhausted wakefulness.

GOODNIGHT KIWI is curated by Mark Williams founding director/curator of CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand.

The image used in the graphic above is from my series Against Forgetting. You can see the complete body of this work on my website HERE.

The program runs until until January 4. You can go to the Festival page HERE.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Try Hard Magazine - Issue 6 on line now


Try Hard Magazine is an independent, online publication focused on showcasing the work of Australian, New Zealand and international photographers who may be living or working in either of those countries.
Try Hard Magazine also aims to encourage writers and academics to contribute original written content in the form of essays, interviews and book reviews that act to further the dialogue centered around the medium.
T H M is founded and curated by photographers Benjamin Chadbond and Patrick Mason.

Issue No 6 Features the work of KK+JLD, Max Creasy, Charlotte McInnes, Kate Beckingham, Kathrine Rooke, Naomi Riddle & Kuba Dorabialski and work from my new series and bookwork, You Won't Be With Me Tomorrow.

There is a lot to see and well worth a look. Go HERE.

KK+JLD - Going to sleep in a city that doesn't exist yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

PARIS - NOVEMBER 2014, a bookwork, No 7 in the series

As I've just returned from Paris, it seemed a new PARIS book should be in order. So here it is. The book is the same format as the previous PARIS bookworks and with an edition limited to 50 copies, each book signed and numbered. There are 28 photographs, over 28 pages, printed on 150gsm art paper, 226 x 160 mm. Below are some of the pages.

Copies can be obtained directly from me at: harvey.benge@xtra.co.nz
Prices are, €25 / £20 / US$32 / NZ$38, which include packing and postage. For payment you can simply log on to my PayPal account using my email address above.