Magnum Photos Now • Beyond The Bible • Jonas Bendiksen • The Last Testament

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Jonas Bendiksen Inri Cristo’s disciples rolling him around on the compound grounds on his rolling pedestal. From the book “The Last Testament”. Brasilia, Brazil. 2014. © Jonas Bendiksen | Magnum Photos

“Surely I am coming back soon.” – The New Testament’s penultimate verse prophesying Jesus Christ’s imminent return remains one of history’s defining sentences. Christians have waited two thousand years for the second coming of Jesus Christ, when it is said he will bring about the “End Times”, judge mankind and correct our hopelessly flawed existence. If he came, what would Jesus say about our contemporary world, and not the least what would today’s people would make of the Son of God?

Two years ago Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen started a personal project to chronicle seven men who all publicly claim to be the biblical Messiah returned. Some are powerful and have thousands of followers, others are true underdogs, with only a handful of disciples. All are united in the faith that they themselves are the Chosen One and have come to save the world.

In this unique presentation, Bendiksen will show the photographs and tell the stories he has collected, exploring the boundaries of religious faith, and a world in need of salvation. From England, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Zambia, Japan and the Philippines, Bendiksen immersed himself amongst the disciples of these men, and in each situation creates an invitation to imagine each of the claimants to be “The One”.

Bendiksen’s overriding theme is the mechanics of religion itself, a force that continues to shape society. The result is an exploration that encourages reflection about the boundaries of belief, while simultaneously telling a unique, colorful and surprising story.

This is the first presentation of the work in the UK, and will be followed by a book signing with the artist.

This event is part of the Magnum Photos Now talks programme at the Barbican Centre.

Tickets can be purchased from the Barbican Centre here.