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Ben Clement Photographs Weird Stuff And People Doing Funny Things

Local photo guy Ben Clement moves between photography and video work, shooting for every publication you have in your house and a few you pretend to have.
LJ
Κείμενο Lily Jovic
31.10.13

Melbourne photo guy Ben Clement moves between photography and video work, shooting for every publication you have in your house and a few you pretend to have. His subjects vary from travel, to street, to people; and his free form style has made him popular locally and overseas.

Next month he’s hopping on the Independent Photography Festival bandwagon with his show Something From Nothing at Spares Store. We grabbed him for a chat before he was swept up by an art appreciation tsunami.

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VICE: Hey Ben, what have you been up to this morning?
Ben Clement: I’m on a crazy deadline for a campaign we just did with New Balance, it came in really last minute so we’re scrambling to get it done. It’s almost there though.

Is the deadline today?
Yeah, shoot was today and the deadline was this morning.

Right, so we’d better get cracking. Can you give us a gist of what to expect from your IPF exhibition?
Basically it’s my work from the past year spent in Melbourne and travelling on jobs to New Zealand and America. It’s kind of just all my observations, meeting people, walking around, and seeing things.

Do you set a tone or theme for a show before you start?
It’s loosely—well it’s not really themed, but I kind of wanted it to match the vibe of the Spares Store which is a lot of street wear, skate culture and things like that. I picked the photos that suited the store. There’s a lot of weird stuff, people doing funny things and a bunch of story telling, I’m kind of stoked to show them.

You’ve mentioned your ability to work within your means, but are there times you look around and just can’t get anything from your surroundings?
Sometimes it depends what mood I’m in; it even depends if I’m on a shoot or just walking around with my camera. If I’m in a super weird mood, it just doesn’t work. I was in NY recently and when I was hung over or just having a bad day nothing would pop up for me—even if it was literally right in front of me. A lot of it is down to mood.

Is there anything you’re in a particularly good mood about with the festival?
A few of my friends have work in the shows, so I’m really excited for everyone to come together and be on the same page, showing all their best work. It doesn’t really happen that often that you get a whole week of all your good friends who take amazing photographs in the same show. I’m really excited to see the Everybody Street documentary that’s on after my show, that’ll be really cool.

Something From Nothing will be showing at the Spare Store from 9-30 November.