The Igor Zabel Competition: Untaken Photographs

Aim Deüelle Lüski, wooden clay camera

21. 4. - 23. 5. 2010
Mala galerija, Slovenska cesta 35

curator: Ariella Azoulay

The exhibition deals with untaken photographs of various types of violence. Through six photographic projects, the exhibition invokes the question - What can be seen when a photograph has not been taken? In one way or another, all of the photographs included in the exhibition replace untaken photographs.
The exhibition shows six photographic "essays" composed of photos that were produced or read in research of the untaken photographs. Miki Kratsman and Boaz Arad take "landscape photographs" of sites where massacres took place in 1948 in Palestine. Efrat Shalem takes photos of houses where women were murdered. Dor Guez takes photos of ruins of Palestinian habitats in al-Lid in that were destroyed in 1948. B'tselem members take photographs of torture techniques staged to illustrate testimonies of Palestinians who have been subjected to torture. Aim Deüelle Lüski uses the particular cameras that he produces - North-West-South-East camera, or the Wooden Clay - camera for his "pilgrimage" to various sites in Tel Aviv where the memory of the past persists through its urban erasure. Beno Rotenberg's and David Eldan's photographs from Al-Ramle will be read as the setting for the abandonment of women in time of war.
These photographic projects activate "civil imagination", a necessary tool in face of the shortcomings of the official archives in relation to regime-made disasters. The necessity to discuss photographs that were not taken is is part of understanding that photography is not merely a practice that produces photographs but a practice through which political relations among people are shaped and can be reconstructed. Reconstructing the political ontology of photography is an attempt not only not to see from the point of view of the regime or speak its language, but also an attempt to answer it - in a language different from the one it speaks. (Ariella Azoulay)

Ariella Azoulay teaches visual culture and contemporary philosophy at the Program for Culture and Interpretation, Bar Ilan University. She is the author of Death's Showcase: The Power of Image in Contemporary Democracy (MIT Press, 2001), Once Upon A Time: Photography Following Walter Benjamin (Bar Ilan University Press, 2006) and The Civil Contract of Photography (Zone Books, 2008).
The exhibition catalogue includes texts by curator and participants.
This project was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Participants: Boaz Arad, B'tselem, Aim Deüelle Lüski, David Eldan (GPO), Dor Guez, Miki Kratsman, Beno Rotenberg (Ginzach), Efrat Shalem

You are kindly invited to attend the opening of the exhibition on Wednesday, 21 April, at 8 p.m. at the Mala galerija. The opening talk will be given at 6 p.m. in the Moderna galerija auditorium.

The project has been selected in the Igor Zabel Competition.

More about the upcoming exhibition:

The Igor Zabel competition is dedicated to innovative curatorial approaches and theoretical research in contemporary visual arts. Igor Zabel was a curator at the Moderna galerija for many years; in his work he always laid great emphasis on the dialogic relationship, the heterogeneity of identities, and the transparence and contextual determination of the curator's position.

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