THE ERASURE TRILOGY

THE ERASURE TRILOGY

Composed by tre volumes
Memory Trace
Independence | Nakba
Desert Bloom

Publisher: Steidl
Language: English / Arabic / Hebrew

Photography: Fazal Sheikh
Text: Fazal Sheikh
Book Design: Fazal Sheikh with Duncan White/Steidl Design

 
The Erasure Trilogy explores the anguish caused by the loss of memory—by forgetting, amnesia or suppression—and the resulting human desire to preserve memory, all seen through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Memory Trace, the first book in the trilogy, depicts the ruins caused by the Arab-Israeli War of 1948: portraits of those traumatized by violence, devastated landscapes and fragments of buildings. This visual poem suggests the irreparable loss of a lingering past that augurs a painful and diffi cult future. Tracing the ironic consequences of David Ben-Gurion’s dream of settling the Negev and making the “desert bloom,” the aerial photographs in Sheikh’s Desert Bloom reveal the myriad actions that have displaced and erased the Bedouins who have lived in the desert for generations. Here we see the extreme transformation of the landscape through erosion, mining, military training camps, the demolition of villages and afforestation. Through Sheikh’s lens the desert becomes both an archive of violence and a record of human attempts to erase it.

Independence | Nakba consists of sixty-six diptychs — one for each year since 1948 — pairing people from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and of gradually increasing age. The double portraits query the relations between Israelis and Palestinians before the founding of the Israeli State (each image depicts either someone who lived in Palestine before the founding of the Israeli State, or someone whose ancestors did).

Desert Bloom Notes, the essential companion reader to Desert Bloom, explores the historical and contemporary clues along the shifting surface of the desert, and what lies hidden, sealed within Sheikh’s aerial landscapes of the Negev.

SHOT AT DAWN

SHOT AT DAWN

Publisher: Ivorypress, 2014
Language: English

 

​Photography: Chloe Dewe Mathews
Text: Geoff Dyer, Sir Hew Strachan and Dr. Helen McCartney

This book is published in association with the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford.

Produced over the eighteen month period leading up to the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Shot at Dawn is a new body of work by the British photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews that focuses on the sites at which British, French and Belgian troops were executed for cowardice and desertion between 1914 and 1918. The project comprises images of the locations at which individuals were shot or held in the period leading up to their executions and all were taken as close to the exact time of execution as possible and at approximately the same time of year.

The book provides a complete visual record of Shot at Dawn. It also contains a critical analysis of the work by the celebrated writer Geoff Dyer and expert contextual essays on cowardice, desertion and psychological trauma brought on by military service by the acclaimed historians Sir Hew Strachan and Dr Helen McCartney.

THEATRES OF WAR

THEATRES OF WAR

Publisher: Silvana Editoriale, 2014
Language: English, Italian

 

Photography: Luca Campigotto
Text: Lyle Rexer, Mario Isnenghi, Marco Meneguzzo,
         Gustavo Pietropolli Charmet, L. Campigotto

 

In Theaters of War, Italian photographer Luca Campigotto (born 1962) presents research on World War I, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. Campigotto’s pictures reveal not only the physical traces preserved by nature, but also the lingering emotional effects and trauma of the war.

HYENAS OF THE BATTLEFIELD, MACHINES IN THE GARDEN

HYENAS OF THE BATTLEFIELD, MACHINES IN THE GARDEN

Printed: GOST, 2015
Language: English
 

​Photography: Lisa Barnard
Essays: Julian Stallabras and Eugénie Shinkle

Hyenas of the Battlefield, Machines in the Garden, is a study into the ‘unholy alliance’ between the military, the entertainment industry and technology, and their coalescence around modern-day warfare. As Fredric Jameson famously observed in 1991 “the underside of culture is blood, torture, death and horror.”

Barnard’s publication explores the complex relationship between these apparently divergent arenas and how the screen is pivotal to the emergence and ongoing development in the relationship between war, media and industry as they relate to the virtual and the real.

Shifting from screen to landscape and incorporating imagery from disparate yet indelibly connected areas: from Las Vegas to Pakistan, Waziristan to Hollywood (via Washington), this new work questions photojournalism’s ‘truth claims’ and the indecipherable, all-consuming nature of the industrial-military complex.

The ‘machines in the garden’ denote the dialectical tension between the American pastoral ideal and machine technology. The ‘hyenas of the battlefield’ are the technological-driven corporations that keep the US soldiers ‘in the loop’, but off the ground.

This is the goal of the US administration: a model of warfare where no more American soldiers die on the battlefield.

BEDROOMS OF THE FALLEN

BEDROOMS OF THE FALLEN

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press, 2014
Language: English
 

Photography: Ashley Gilbertson
Text: Ashley Gilbertson, Philip Gourevitch

 
 
For more than a decade, the United States has been fighting wars so far from the public eye as to risk being forgotten, the struggles and sacrifices of its volunteer soldiers almost ignored. Photographer and writer Ashley Gilbertson has been working to prevent that. His dramatic photographs of the Iraq war for the New York Times and his book Whiskey Tango Foxtrot took readers into the mayhem of Baghdad, Ramadi, Samarra, and Fallujah.

But with Bedrooms of the Fallen, Gilbertson reminds us that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have also reached deep into homes far from the noise of battle, down quiet streets and country roads-the homes of family and friends who bear their grief out of view.

The book’s wide-format black-and-white images depict the bedrooms of forty fallen soldiers-the equivalent of a single platoon-from the United States, Canada, and several European nations. Left intact by families of the deceased, the bedrooms are a heartbreaking reminder of lives cut short: we see high school diplomas and pictures from prom, sports medals and souvenirs, and markers of the idealism that carried them to war, like images of the Twin Towers and Osama Bin Laden. A moving essay by Gilbertson describes his encounters with the families who preserve these private memorials to their loved ones and shares what he has learned from them about war and loss

19.06_26.08.1945

19.06_26.08.1945

Publisher:  Danilo Montanari Editore
Language: English – Italian
 
Photography: Andrea Botto
Concept and Design: Andrea Botto
Hand-bound: Andrea Botto and Legatoria Universo
 
On June 19, 1945, photographer Andrea Botto’s grandfather, Primo Benedetti, was released from a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp and began making his way back home to Tuscany.
 
This book, which won third place for the 2012 Kassel Fotobookfestival Dummy Award, retraces that journey via online image searches for the names of cities he passed through and dates of his travel (such as “Hanover, 1945”). A sprawling set of black-and-white images are scattered across the page spreads: bombs exploding, bodies in uniform, Nazi weddings, and anachronistic tattooed punks. Small documents scanned from Benedetti’s passport, transfer papers, and letters home are printed on different types of paper and bound into the journal-format book. Lesley Martin calls it “a memory palace astutely built from the flotsam and jetsam of the Internet image archive.”
 

Prizes:
Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 2014, finalist
Les Rencotres d’Arles Author’s Book Award 2014, finalist
Premio Ponchielli 2014 “Best book of the year”
FotoBookFestival Kassel Dummy Award 2012, Third Prize

TO FACE

TO FACE

Publisher: STEIDL, 2012
Language: English
 

​Photography: Paola De Pietri
Text: Roberta Valtorta, Mario Rigoni Stern

 
Paola De Pietri first learnt of World War I at school and from family members who recounted historical facts through personal experiences – experiences that are in danger of being forgotten. In To Face De Pietri preserves these memories in a series of photographs of the alps between Italy and Austria, a landscape that still bears the scars of trench warfare from nearly a century ago. De Pietri’s subtle, unassuming images show a landscape once damaged by man is now being reclaimed by nature.

THE COURSE OF HISTORY

THE COURSE OF HISTORY

Publisher: Damiani, 2013
Language: English
 

​Photography: Bart Michiels

Lepanto, Waterloo, Verdun, Stalingrad. The photographs comprising The Course of History by the Belgian-born, New York-based artist Bart Michiels (born 1964) show seemingly innocent landscapes and confined views of nature, some romantically beautiful, others sombre and desolate. Nevertheless, the chosen sites are the battlefields of the most barbarous combats in European history. Michiels revisits these sites many, sometimes even hundreds of, years after the clash. Thus, history has left the scene though these empty fields remain and play an important role to this day as silent witnesses to the historic events and, furthermore, as sites of memory…This is the first extensive publication of the photographic series, many of the photographs having been unpublished so far.

WAR PRIMER 2

WAR PRIMER 2

Publisher: MACK
Language: English
 

Photography: Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
Collaborators: Giulia Astesani, Natalia Grabowska
Piero Martinello, Chloe Rafferty and Sam Skinner

 
 
Originally released in 2011 as a limited edition hardback, this paperback edition is a facsimile of the book which earned Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin the 2013 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. War Primer 2 appropriates the first English-language version of Bertolt Brecht’s remarkable 1955 Kriegsfibel in which Brecht combined press photographs from the World Wars with four-line poems. Compiled intermittently over three decades, Brecht’s book was a visual and lyrical attack on war and its propagandists under modern capitalism. Shifting the critique to contemporary narratives perpetuated by the so-called ‘War on Terror’, Broomberg and Chanarin strategically overlay the pages of Brecht’s War Primerwith images culled from the internet and generated by the actors, propagators and reporters of the contemporary conflict.

Underlying this junction of two visual histories is a profound skepticism of mass media images. War Primer notably drew attention to the didactic role of photojournalism that served war’s callous profiteers. The title deliberately recalled textbooks used to teach primary school children how to read, and the book, which used razor-sharp words to dismantle visual messages, effectively served as a manual, demonstrating how to “read” or “translate” press photographs – images that Brecht referred to as hieroglyphics in need of decoding.

In War Primer 2, Brecht’s pithy poems and choice of 20th-century images – bombed-out cities and battlefronts, Hitler and his henchmen, and wounded soldiers and refugees, among them – take on new implications when shrewdly juxtaposed with digital images and video screenshots of the Twin Towers attacks, torture in the Abu Ghraib jail, the execution of Saddam Hussain, and George W. Bush proudly offering up a Thanksgiving Day Turkey. When the artists’ book was first published it raised pertinent questions concerning the historical, political and social currency of mass-media images generated by conflict. Now, in an age of “fake news”, War Primer 2 probes the power of images not only to narrate but also to create history.

SOLDIER / MANY WARS

SOLDIER / MANY WARS

Publisher: Decode Books
Language: English
 
Photography: Suzanne Opton
Design: John Jenkins III
Essays: Ann Jones, Phillip Prodger
 
 
In the two series collected in this volume, Soldier/Many Wars, photographer Suzanne Opton (born 1954) photographs a range of American soldiers close up, laying their heads before the camera, and American veterans who are draped. The subjects of the Soldier series are all young, active-duty soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the photographs were presented as billboards in nine American cities from 2008 through 2010.

Reviewing them for The New York Times, photography critic Vince Aletti wrote: “The posture is vulnerable and startlingly intimate, as if these young men and women were facing someone in bed or on a stretcher… Opton catches soldiers both on guard and off, looking out and inward simultaneously, and we can only imagine what they’re thinking, what they’ve done, and what they dread.”

The project received extensive press coverage and even sparked a heated debate about America’s image of the military.

The Many Wars series presents portraits of veterans from American wars over the past 70 years. Through interviews by the photographer, we learn how the wars have affected their lives. Both bodies of work were selected by Martin Paar for the Brighton Photo Biennial in 2010.