Harvey Benge – Paris

I’ve been a long time admirer of Harvey Benge. Before Blurb and the like existed, he was self-publishing books and working with the way images work together, usually as pairs, sometimes in small groups, or as in his books, larger structures.

I’ve recently acquired his two Paris diaries. These are – I guess – inkjet prints, folded and stapled together. Very nice to hold and to see something intimately put together.

The pairings are always interesting, similarities of tone, contrasts between perspective or macro details versus broad vistas. There is always a danger with this, one I know to my cost, that viewers look for the ‘answer’, falling neatly into the trap that the engagement with the image is merely cracking the code. Either that, or you always feel that the pairs are each propping eaching other up, the suspicion that neither image is strong enough on its own.

I don’t get this feeling with Harvey’s work. The single images seem to serve a purpose in the flow of the whole, and the pairings pull you in and allow you to play with meanings. All good stuff.

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