The Bible ends with the prophetic words “Surely I am coming soon”. And now, after nearly 2000 years, Christ is finally walking among us again.
Imagined as a sequel to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible by the Norwegian Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen, The Last Testament features visual accounts and stories of seven men around the world who claim to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Building on biblical form and structure, chapters dedicated to each Jesus include excerpts of their scriptural testaments, laying out their theology and demands on mankind in their own words.
Through Bendiksen’s personal testimonies and intimate portraits, The Last Testament investigates the boundaries of religious faith, and a world in need of salvation, yearning for a new prophet. Whether escaping an angry mob in the streets with the Jesus of Kitwe, joining a Messianic birthday pilgrimage in Siberia or witnessing the End of Days with Moses in South Africa, Bendiksen immerses himself among the disciples of each of them.
We are proud and honoured to exhibit the artworks and launching the Norwegian version of the book at Shoot Gallery 9. September. The English version will be launched in New York late September by Aperture Foundation / GOST.
All images © Jonas Bendiksen / courtesy of Shoot Gallery
Biography by Jonas Bendiksen
Norwegian, b. 1977
When I was 19, I got a one-year internship at Magnum Photos' London office. I made coffee and tea, ran to the post office, answered the phones and returned prints and slides to their right places in the archive. A year spent working in the presence of that iconic archive was the best education I could have asked for.
After I finished my internship there, I left for Russia to try to become a photographer myself. I fell madly in love with the former USSR and ended up spending several years there. The time I spent there resulted in my first book, "Satellites - Photographs from the Fringes of the former Soviet Union", which came out in 2006.
Somehow I've always been fascinated by enclaves and people living in isolated communities. While "Satellites" looked at separatist republics in the former USSR, in 2005 I started another project about a different type of enclave - the urban slum. "The Places We Live" became a three-year journey through four slum communities around the world, and in 2008 it became a book and exhibition featuring projections and voice recordings in a three-dimensional installation.
I've enjoyed working with a diverse group of clients, of all sizes and shapes. Some of my clients have been GEO magazine, Newsweek, the Sunday Times Magazine, The Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and many others. Since 2004 I have had the pleasure of working with National Geographic Magazine on many stories.
I joined Magnum Photos in 2004.
Today I live near Oslo, Norway with my wife, son and two daughters.
Selected Awards & Grants
2014 NPPA Best of Photojournalism, 1st prize
2014 Pictures of the Year, Last of the First skiers
2013 Pictures of the Year, Russian Summer edit
2011 Norwegian State Artist’s Grant
2008 Telenor International Culture Prize
2008 National Geographic Photography Grant
2007 ASME National Magazine Award
2007 Freedom of Expression Foundation Grant
2007 Award of Excellence, Pictures of the Year International
2005 Open Society Institute, Distribution Grant
2005 Alicia Patterson Fellowship
2005 2nd Prize, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo Competition
2005 Award of Excellence, Pictures of the Year International
2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship
2004 Norwegian Art’s Council Grant
2003 Infinity Award, Young Photographer of the Year, International Center of Photography 2003 1st Prize, Picture of the Year International Awards
2001 World Press Photo Masterclass
2001 Nikon/Sunday Times Magazine Ian Parry Memorial Award
2001 Photo District News “30 under 30”
2014 Open for Business (Group show), National Media Museum, UK
2013 Unintended Journeys (Group show), Smithsonian Natural History Museum Washington 2011 Bangladesh – On the Frontline of Climate Change, Perpignan, France
2008-12 The Places We Live Nobel Peace Center, Oslo; CO Berlin; National Building Museum, USA; CECZ, Amsterdam; Perspektivet Museum, Tromsø
2006-12 Satellites Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam; PM Gallery, London; Visa pour l’image, Perpignan; Fotoencuentros, Murcia
2008 Access to Life (Group show) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; Stenersenmuseet, Oslo; United Nations, New York, Asahi Mullion, Tokyo
2004 Moving Walls 8 - Open Society Institute, New York, USA
2002 Changing the Face of India - Tom Blau Gallery, London, UK
2008 The Places We Live, Aperture, USA (7 languages)
2006 Satellites, Aperture, USA (4 languages)