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Space and Time: Forty Years in Photographs

May 23 – September 16, 2012
Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 23, 5:00-7:00pm

Artist's Talk: Wednesday, September 5th, 6pm. Reception to follow.

Steven Benson
Under New Bridge, China 1999
From the series: Three Gorges Dam

"Within documentary photographic practice there is always that edge we often have to walk between the desire to make aesthetically engaging photographs while at the same time not allowing that desire to overtake the subject of the photograph. In my case it is a tendency toward the surreal with strong visual dynamics. In a related sense I see sophisticated photographs that achieve this balance as marking points in space where internal and external intersect."

Steven Benson,
from an interview by Daniel Kariko,, Metadata #6, 2012

FACULTY FOCUS exhibitions present photographic works from faculty of the photography studies programs at Daytona State College. This exhibition series is presented each year as part of the regular summer exhibition schedule of the Southeast Museum of Photography. In 2012 we are proud to present a major retrospective of the more than forty-year photographic career of Daytona State College faculty member, Steven Benson.

This exhibition is arranged in seven distinct project sections; each one representing an extended series of photographic explorations around a theme, topic or location. Three Gorges Dam, Security, Resonance, A Cultural Critique, Incantations, Transfigurations and Recent Work each show us the diversity of Benson’s artistic concerns as they have evolved over his career.

In addition to an extensive career as an exhibiting artist Steven Benson has been a freelance photographer for more than 25 years working on assignment for publishers, advertising agencies and Fortune 500 companies throughout North America, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Mexico, France, Germany and Holland. This exhibition at the Southeast Museum of Photography represents a forty-year retrospective of his diverse career.

Benson received his BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. A frequent exhibitor at international venues; he has had a solo exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (where he was invited to exhibit at the age of 23), a thirty-year retrospective in Paris at the Centre des Bords de Marne (2004) and a retrospective at Flatfile Galleries in Chicago in 2007.

Benson’s photographs are represented in numerous permanent collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Fine Art-Houston, Portland Art Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale of France, Centre Georges Pompidou and the Museet for Fotokunst-Denmark. He is the recipient of three Creative Artist Grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts, a NEA/ArtsMidwest Fellowship and a Tannahill Grant from the College for Creative Studies.

Recent articles about his work have appeared in European Photography (Germany), Katalog (Denmark) and in CameraArts. His photo essay, The Cost of Power in China: The Three Gorges Dam and the Yangtze River Valley, was a featured exhibition at the 2004 FotoFest Biennial in Houston, the Daegu Photo Biennal in South Korea and the Odense Foto Triennale in Denmark. A book of this work was published in 2006 by Black Opal Press with essays by A.D. Coleman and Dai Qing.

Benson’s current project, A Cultural Critique, was a featured exhibition at the Argentinean Biennial of Documentary Photography in 2004, the Lodz International Festival of Photography (Poland), the Internationale Fototage Biennial in Mannheim, Germany, the  International Photography Gathering in Syria, the Lianzhou International Festival of Photography in China (2006) and at the 2008 FotoFest Biennial. 

He is currently an Associate Professor and Program Manager at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies, School of Photography at Daytona State College in Florida and he serves on the National Board of Directors of the Society for Photographic Education and the ASMP Board of Directors - Central Florida Chapter. (interview)
Anchor Bay, Michigan, 1975
From the series: Resonance
Mound Cover, Costa Rica, 2011
From the series: Security
Rain, Daning River, China 1999
From the series: Three Gorges Dam

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Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.

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