12 Jan 2022

flatter to deceive

I first became aware of Jonas Bendiksen in a photography show at the PM Gallery when I remember being struck by an image from his Satellites project. This was a classic piece of Magnum photojournalism: humanist stories, documented against a backdrop of political and social turmoil. It was fascinating to discover that he had used the reputation of his persona and of Magnum to create a fictional documentary project, The Book of Veles, raising questions about authenticity, trust and the photography establishment.

It was a topic of interest for a number of us in my local photography group so I put together a short talk. In retrospect it's a companion to one I gave over a year ago on ethics.

There are lots of sources that describe the story but I found Ben Smith's interview very interesting and well worth a listen.