Jonas Bendiksen explains the many layers of intrigue that went into the creation of his book about misinformation in the contemporary media landscape. Interview by Jade Chan.
"Photography is the way I get to grapple with all the things I’m curious about. "
- Jonas Bendiksen
Jonas Bendiksen’s sharply evocative images explore themes of community, faith and technology.
Bendiksen was born in Norway in 1977. He began his career at the age of 19 as an intern at Magnum’s London office before leaving for Russia to pursue his own work as a photojournalist. Throughout the several years he spent there, Bendiksen photographed stories from the fringes of the former USSR, a project that was published as the book Satellites (Aperture, 2006). Following this he experimented with 360° photography in his book and 16-projector installation, The Places We Live (Aperture, 2008), about daily life in four urban slums.
In 2017 he published The Last Testament (Aperture), which told the story of seven men who all claimed to be the biblical Messiah returned to earth. The Book of Veles (Gost, 2021) probed the vulnerabilities of our perceptions, and became hotly debated after Bendiksen revealed that what had appeared to be a classical piece of photojournalism was in large part synthetic computer-generated renderings.
His editorial clients include magazines such as National Geographic, Stern, Time, Newsweek, The Sunday Times Magazine, and The Guardian Weekend. On the commercial side, he has done projects for HSBC, Canon, Fuji, BCG, Red Bull and Land Rover.
Bendiksen became a nominee of Magnum Photos in 2004, and a member in 2008. He lives with his wife and children outside Oslo, Norway.