This series of photographs evolved from an interest in public forms of communication, expression and the dissemination of information.—Steven Benson
In the days following the attack of September 11th, and the subsequent invasion of Iraq, I became fascinated with the way different entities of American society communicated their sentiments following these events. The US Government, the corporate sector, the religious community and individual citizens found a specific form of expression that best suited their needs. While many of these messages were created as patriotic expressions, they also revealed multiple subtexts giving insights into our society formed around a mixture of materialistic, commercialized patriotism and the belief in God.
What holds my interest in this body of work addresses how the dialogue between two photographs can subvert and transform each image’s “original intended meaning” within the context of a cultural critique. The pairing can result from the same subject photographed at two points in time, a change of position, the combining of images from different locations, the facing pages or front and back cover of a magazine. The perceptual process of engaging these images reminds me of looking at photographs of twins; first we notice the similarities, but we end up looking for the differences.
Steven Benson is a Professor at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, School of Photography at Daytona State College. He holds a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is the recipient of three Creative Artist Grants – Michigan Council for the Arts and a NEA/ArtsMidwest Fellowship. His work is represented in numerous collections including the Museum of Fine Art – Houston, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bibliotheque Nationale – France, Centre Georges Pompidou, Museet for Fotokunst – Denmark. Solo exhibitions of his photography include the Centre Georges Pompidou and photography festivals/biennials/triennials in Argentina, South Korea, Germany, Syria, Poland, China, Denmark and FotoFest (2004 & 2008). A retrospective of his work was on view at the Southeast Museum of Photography in 2012.
Steven has specializations in editorial, annual report and advertising photography. He has been sent on assignment throughout North America and Europe, as well as Mexico, the Caribbean, Russia, Brazil and Japan for clients such as AT&T, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Unisys, Borg-Warner, Allied Signal, Hughes JVC Technology Corporation and Canadian National Railroad, among others.
He has served on the National Board of Directors of the Society for Photographic Education and is currently VP on the Board of ASMP Greater Florida and the Board of Directors of SNAP SPACE/SNAP MIAMI/SNAP ORLANDO.