(A selection of works made in Photography -Analog Photography / Digital Photography- is shown to offer a global vision of the different produced series)
Pharmakon (A Rooster for Aesculapius), 2018-2019 (Installation with Digital Photography)
Empty Niche, Uninhabited Temples, 2018-2019 (Photography: Silver Gelatin)
In Cilician, Dust and Ashes, 2018-2020 (Fire, Ashes, Digital Photography...)
Óculos Hábent et Non Vidébunt, 2017-2018 (Photo-installation, Sound and Lighting)
The Sons of Narcissus series, 2017 (C-Print on Hahnemuhle)
Apheresis: Auto-Transfusion Cabinet, 2016-2018 (C-Print on Hahnemuhle)
Shadows of Jewel and Lotus (Triptych), 2011 (Digital Photography)
Philosophy, 2009 (Photographic Installation with Digital Sound)
Philosophy, 2007-2009 (Photographic Installation with Digital Lighting)
Diagnostic Exercise, 2006 (Borderline): Digital Photographic Installation
The Process, 2006 (Digital Photography and Mixed Media on Canvas)
One and a Thousand Eyes, 2005 (Mixed Media and Digital Photography)
Photography in the work of Ernesto Benitez (Contemporary Art)
Photography has a decisive weight in the panorama of contemporary art and Ernesto Benitez is an artist who, from a very young age, has been interested in recreating realities other or misleading realities and has experimented with this means of expression. Benítez relies on the photographic image to veil his discourses, to load them with ambivalence (not ambiguity) and to introduce in his works certain doses of “encrypted” information (sometimes literally). In his most recent proposals, this artist turns to photography to engage in a dialogue about ubiquity, omnipresence or otherness and the self-referential.
In his photography and in his entire proposal, Ernesto Benítez dusts off many symbols already coined and legitimated (although almost forgotten) by the Western tradition in order to confront them with the new archetypes and the liturgical paraphernalia of modernity. The artist proposes a constant tension of memory and photography is one of his best allies.
Ernesto does not hide his gaze influenced by the German post-war Subjektive Fotografie. The break proposed by Subjektive Photografie with previous stereotypes inherited in the photographic field is for Ernesto, already in itself, a symbol of unsuspected scope in these times of apathy and excessive ludism. Of course, Ernesto strips himself of all the technicality of Subjective photography that influences him, but highlights and consciously tries to drink in the utopian and emancipatory flow that emanates from one of the photographic currents that best illustrates subjectivism, the aura of artistic autonomy and experimental spirit of modernity.
Ernesto Benítez is a conceptual artist who operates with antinomies and therefore is aware that his works (including photography) are hermetic despite the fact that they are presented with an “easy to read” appearance (mainly his drawings and two-dimensional works produced in the years 2000-2010). In his works Ernesto leaves no loose ends or ideas in the air. Nothing is casual in an aesthetic proposal like his, which is structured precisely from diverse discursive levels not explicitly revealed and that manifests through codes threaded with a symbolic discourse almost impenetrable from a mere instrumental reading, like the one that emanates from concrete thought at the crossroads of modernity. There are many hidden references in his work: references of anthropological, existential, political, or cultural order. The artist includes in his work many Historical references and other “hidden” philosophical data or assessments that are given to us only as symbolical references, visually transvestite.
Ernesto also incorporates into his works elements that he extracts from inexhaustible alchemical sources, from oriental thought and other cultural references that his anthropological studies have provided him with. In fact, his works include many personal data that would escape a quick epidermal reading. By carefully observing these works, we can find many personal references of a private nature that are offered to us, overlapping, in the context of the different discursive levels. In the case of photography these elements are offered or incorporated sometimes from the photographic autonomy itself and other times by means of photographic complements incorporated in his installations thought for specific spaces -site specific art-, his environmental artworks or, his new media proposal (new media art), as well as in the pieces made with traditional technique, materials and supports (paper, canvas, wood, gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, clay or diverse ashes, among others…)