Ben Cauchi interview

Ben Cauchi interview - the long version

by Guy Somerset

Extended version of an article published in The Listener, 03 November, 2012

Ben Cauchi.  Self-portrait , 2006 (ambrotype)

Ben Cauchi. Self-portrait, 2006 (ambrotype)


Apologies for the delay in this appearing. It was supposed to coincide with the shorter print version of my interview with Ben Cauchi but then my iPad ate all 5000-plus words of my transcript and I had to repeat it from scratch. The interview took place in Cauchi's studio at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien arts complex - where he is based as recipient of the 2012-13 Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Arts Residency - ahead of his exhibition The Sophist's Mirror opening back in New Zealand. You can view an archive of Cauchi's images here. 

I read you’ve just had built this unbelievably giant camera. Yeah, we dubbed it “the Behemoth”. It’s a camera that can make ambrotypes 20 inches by 24 inches, 500mm by 600mm. Which is a feat of manual dexterity I’m still getting used to. 

When was it completed? It was completed a little while ago. In 2010. 

So you’ve had some time to get used to it. Ironically, I was away from home for most of the year. We took a trip to England last year. Then there was a residency in Wellington and so on. It wasn’t actually until up in Auckland last summer that I started using it. So there have only actually been two plates, two works, done with it so far. 
Read full interview on Noted