Monday, September 7, 2009

Harvey Benge - You Won't Be With Me Tomorrow

Harvey Benge
You Won't Be With Me Tomorrow - Limited Edition Book, 2009

This is a new limited edition (100 copies) publication from the New Zealand based photographer Harvey Benge.
It has 68 pages, and just as many full page images, magazine format. Harvey sent me this book just before I left on my travels so I didn't get to spend much time with it until now but I am thrilled to find it a perfect addition to the quiver of books to his name. There is no text in this one, other than the imprint, so it is purely a visual diary of sorts, open to each of our stories. My story is of old girlfriends, the places we hung out, the clothes, the smells, the tattoos we never had the guts to get.

A quote by Marcus Schaden, who has published a few of Harvey's books reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by the painter Agnes Martin.

"One of the few photographers today who does as much for the poetics as for the philosophy of photography." Marcus Schaden

"There is so much written about art that it is mistaken for an intellectual pursuit." Agnes Martin

When I found this nice parallel, I wrote to Harvey asking him for a few thoughts on the work, secretly afraid he would blow it for me, but it was perfect; his statement was as open-ended as the work.

(the work) investigates the nature of reality and the relationship between parallel lives, when one thing is happening here, something else is happening over there. Harvey Benge

This book is released by Harvey's own imprint FAQ Editions in Auckland; New Zealand and is just the tip of the iceberg of what he has published and produced in recent years, including this one which also looks quite interesting, A Short HIstory of Photography, in which he plucks images from his own archives which remind him of "classic" images from well-known photographers from Friedlander to Shore.

‘While looking through his contact sheets, Harvey Benge noticed that one of his pictures reminded him of a ‘Friedlander’, another someone else. All photographers do this, and if the photograph in question apes another photographer too closely, it’s usually a cause for rejection. But Benge did the opposite. Picking out his ‘Friedlander’ and his ‘Parr’ and his ‘Baltz’ he decided to make an ‘anthology’ of contemporary photography featuring some of its biggest names. Yet they are all genuine, original Benges. They are also all good pictures, not mere pastiches of the ‘originals’ of which they gently but insistently remind one. This may be a game, but games can be very serious, and this fascinating book is both a serious and light-hearted exploration of photographic style.’ – Gerry Badger

Harvey spends his time between New Zealand and Paris and he told me he will be at Paris Photo this year so I wouldn't be surprised if he is signing books somewhere.

This book is currently available only through Harvey.


  1. Is there anywhere to buy this? It looks fantastic.

    - Corey

  2. hi corey,
    this book is only available directly through Harvey, the best is to email him via his homepage.

  3. I love what Harvey Benge does with his photography and his photography books -- they ARE a perfect blend of visual grace, philosophy, poetry and fun!

    One of my favorite titles of his is "Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar". I picked that one up in Paris at Colette or Florence Loewy.