BENEDICT J. FERNANDEZ
Fotografie

Werke
COUNTDOWN TO ETERNITY
Biographie/ Ausstellungen
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Mitte der sechziger Jahre fotografierte Ben Fernandez in den Straßen von New York und wurde zu einem der bedeutendsten Straßenfotografen unserer Zeit. Er fotografierte verschiedene gesellschaftlich bedeutende Ereignisse. Fernandez 'Fotografien von Protestaktionen im Großraum New York sowie im ganzen Land dienten als fotografisches Tagebuch der Protestbewegung der 1960er Jahre.

Fernandez 'kraftvolle Fotografien des letzten Lebensjahres von Dr. King laden uns ein, mit dem Fotografen durch die Straßen zu gehen und im Haus von Dr. King zu sitzen. Seine Fotografien dienen als außergewöhnliche Darstellung und visuelle Zeugnisse eines engagierten Fotojournalisten, der eine Zeit in der Geschichte dieses Landes festgehalten hat. Achtunddreißig Jahre später sprechen sie immer noch mit der gleichen Botschaft, die sie bei ihrer ersten Geburt beabsichtigt hatten. Die zentrale Botschaft für den Fotografen war, mit großer visueller Kraft die Wirkung von Dr.King auf dieses Land zu dokumentieren.

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[…]Es geht nicht nur um Neugier, sondern um den Wunsch, sich auszudrücken und Erkenntnisse zu vermitteln, die den Fotografen Ben Fernandez und seine ausgewählten Sichtweisen in vertraute und unbekannte Welten treiben. Seine Beherrschung seines Mediums ist so vollständig, dass seine Fotografien keinen weiteren Kommentar erfordern. Sie sind kraftvolle Dokumente einer außergewöhnlichen Persönlichkeit.

[…]Und wenn der Mensch selbst mit der Plötzlichkeit und Energie eines Hurrikans von Zeit zu Zeit auftaucht, sind wir voll und ganz von seiner Persönlichkeit fasziniert. Diese übermächtige Figur ist eine Quelle des Wissens, der Erfahrung - und der Suada. Ben Fernandez ist ein Denkmal für ein ganzes fotografisches Zeitalter, das von der Vergangenheit profitiert und in die Zukunft blickt. Fotografie, deren Todesknall durch elektronische Technologie geläutert scheint, ist weder passé noch verloren, solange Künstler wie Ben Fernandez immer noch die traditionelle Kamera benutzen, um zu sagen, was sie zu sagen haben.

COUNTDOWN TO ETERNITY
A Fine Art Photographic Exhibition from the archives of photographer, Benedict J. Fernandez.

This exhibition provides a rare and intimate view of Dr. Martin Luther King. Through this series of photographs, we are permitted to share public and personal aspects of his life.

Through the camera of Ben Fernandez, we find Dr. King during proud moments, contemplative moments, triumphant moments. We are allowed the tragedy and introspection of his immediate family at the time of his death and are given a suggestion of the profound impact of Dr. King's work.

This exhibition has been developed to insure that we are, once again, reminded of the importance of his timeless message and inspired with the prospect of hope and empowerment.

The year of this installation at NECAT – 2013 – is the fiftieth anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech. Never has there been a speech with more power to inspire.

The title: In 1967 Dr. King gave a speech in front of the United Nations. Dr. King chose this location with care. It was with this speech that Dr. King stepped on the WORLD stage as the messenger for peace and civil rights for all the peoples of the world.

This speech was given on April 4, 1967. He was assassinated one year later, TO THE DAY, April 4, 1968. Thus had begun his ..................... COUNTDOWN TO ETERNITY.


ABOUT THE ARTIST
During the mid-Sixties, Ben Fernandez photographed throughout the streets of New York, becoming one of the most important street photographers of the time, photographing a variety of significant events. Fernandez' photographs of events and protest activities in the New York Metropolitan area, as well as across the country, served as a photographic diary of the nationwide protest against the war in Vietnam and other issues pertinent at the time.

Fernandez recognized the historical significance of the time and his role as a pictorial documentarian and recorder of events, which expanded from the Civil Rights Movement to a Human Rights Movement.

Fernandez' powerful photographs of the last year of Dr. King's life invite us to walk the streets with the photographer, sit in the family home of Dr. King. His photographs serve as an extraordinary account and visual testimony of a dedicated photojournalist who captured a period in this country's history. These photographs also depict Dr. King as a devoted father, husband, son and national leader.

The photographs in this exhibition embody the personality behind the camera. Fernandez, like many photo documentarians, has become a visual historian and narrator of our times. These photographs were never collected into an exhibition during Dr. King's lifetime, therefore, his thoughts and impressions of these photographs remain speculative.

Forty six years later they still speak to us with the same message intended when they were first taken. The central message for the photographer was to document, with great visual strength, the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the photographer and on this country.

Fernandez has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts award, he is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow in Photography at the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, DC. Numerous books of his works have been published:
"In Opposition: Images of American Dissent in the Sixties" (1968); "Countdown to Eternity" (1993); "Protest" (American Edition) (1996); "I Am A Man" (German Edition) (1996)


An internationally acclaimed photographer, Fernandez' work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. He is in permanent collections, among many others, The Smithsonian, The National Portrait Gallery, The Corcoran Museum of Art, MOMA, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, The Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, The University of Tokyo Library, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.