We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Three lies



Ben Cauchi

New Zealand

1974 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    23.0 x 19.0 cm sight; 54.0 x 45.5 x 4.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated c.verso frame, black ink “.../ 2006/ .../ Ben Cauchi”.

    Gift of Henry Ergas 2009. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Ben Cauchi, courtesy Darren Knight Gallery

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ben Cauchi

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Ben Cauchi was born in Auckland in 1974; he obtained an Advanced Diploma in Photography from Massey University, Wellington, in 2000.

    Cauchi uses traditional (‘anachronistic’, according to Aaron Lister Lister in ‘An offer of questionable intent: photographs by Ben Cauchi’, from exh. cat. ‘Ben Cauchi: smoke and mirrors’ 2005) printing methods, such as ambrotypes and tintypes, to create darkly ethereal, contemplative images, which pose questions about mortality, the subconscious and, indeed, pictorial representation itself.

    Cauchi’s photographs seem to penetrate deeply into some subliminal realm of memory; they feel at once oddly familiar, like we’ve seen them before, and uncannily distant, dislodged from reality – haunting reminders that the past was also a present, that the present is becoming past.

    This dichotomy runs parallel to that of photography itself. This is especially evident in Cauchi’s self-portrait, ‘The final day’ 2006. It shows the artist staring blankly out of what could be a generic nineteenth-century studio portrait, whilst simultaneously forcing us to acknowledge the contemporaneity of the image through the very fact it is by and of the artist, and hence no less ‘contemporary’ than any 21st -century, digitally produced self-portrait.

    Ben Cauchi has exhibited extensively in Australia and New Zealand as well as in London. His work is in the public collections of Australia and New Zealand among others.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Ben Cauchi

See all 10 works