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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

This Place at Brooklyn Museum

Image above: Stephen Shore (American, born 1947). St. Sabas Monastery, Judean Desert, Israel, September 20, 2009. Chromogenic print, 36 x 45 in. (91.4 x 114.3 cm). Courtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York. © Stephen Shore, all rights reserved

 

This Place Explores the Complexity of Israel and the West Bank as Place and Metaphor through the Lenses of Twelve Highly Acclaimed Photographers.

Frédéric Brenner, Wendy Ewald, Joseph Koudelka, Rosalind Fox Solomon, Thomas Struth, and Jeff Wall among Artists Who Explore Daily Life, Inhabitants, and Landscape of the Region.

 

Frédéric Brenner (French, born 1959). Palace Hotel, 2009. Archival pigment print, 74 3/4 x 59 7/8 in. (190 x 152 cm). © Frederic Brenner, courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Image above: ©Frédéric Brenner (French, born 1959). Palace Hotel, 2009. Archival pigment print, 74 3/4 x 59 7/8 in. (190 x 152 cm) / courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York 

 

As artists around the globe become increasingly engaged with today’s pressing social and political issues, This Place presents works by twelve internationally acclaimed photographers who visited Israel and the West Bank in an unprecedented effort to offer twelve distinct photographic perspectives on the region. The exhibition is on view at the Brooklyn Museum from February 12 through June 5, 2016.

Conceived of by photographer Frédéric Brenner, This Place explores one of the most complex and contested regions in the world today through the eyes of Brenner (France), Wendy Ewald (U.S.), Martin Kollar (Slovakia), Josef Koudelka (Czech Republic), Jungjin Lee (South Korea), Gilles Peress (France), Fazal Sheikh (U.S.), Stephen Shore (U.S.), Rosalind Fox Solomon (U.S.), Thomas Struth (Germany), Jeff Wall (Canada), and Nick Waplington (United Kingdom). The participating photographers—none of whom are Israeli or Palestinian, and a majority of whom had never been to the region before—took up residency in Israel and the West Bank for an average of six months between 2009 and 2012. During that time, the artists traveled throughout the region and engaged with a remarkable variety of individuals and communities, focusing their lenses on the landscape, inhabitants, and daily life to provide an outside view of the histories and challenges of this fraught land.

Frédéric Brenner (French, born 1959). Ruth Chaya Leonov-Carmely, Nechama Weitman, Pnina Leonov, 2010 Archival pigment print, 23 5/8 x 18 ¾ in. (60 x 47.7 cm). © Frederic Brenner, courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Image above: ©Frédéric Brenner (French, born 1959). Ruth Chaya Leonov-Carmely, Nechama Weitman, Pnina Leonov, 2010 Archival pigment print, 23 5/8 x 18 ¾ in. (60 x 47.7 cm) / courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York 

 

Each artist was free to pursue his or her own self-defined project, resulting in twelve original and strikingly different bodies of work and more than 600 photographs that combine to reveal the many rifts, dissonances, and paradoxes of Israel and the West Bank. According to Brenner, “It seemed to me necessary to gather a large spectrum of individuals whose origins, passions and paradoxical and contradictory perspectives could help us grasp the unbearable complexity of this place and its voices.”

Josef Koudelka (Czech, born 1938). Detail from Wall: Israeli & Palestinian Landscape 2008-2012 (Shu’fat refugee camp, overlooking Al ‘Isawiya, Jerusalem), 2008–12. Pigment print, 32 7/8 x 100 in. (83.5 x 254 cm). © Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos

Image above: ©Josef Koudelka (Czech, born 1938). Detail from Wall: Israeli & Palestinian Landscape 2008-2012 (Shu’fat refugee camp, overlooking Al ‘Isawiya, Jerusalem), 2008–12. Pigment print, 32 7/8 x 100 in. (83.5 x 254 cm) / Courtesy of Magnum Photos

 

The group project that led to This Place echoes previous initiatives such as the 1935 commission of the U.S. Farm Security Administration, which gathered artists to use photography to ask essential questions about culture, society, and individual lives during the Great Depression, and La Mission photographique de la DATAR, which documented the French landscape of the 1980s. Unlike those precedents, however, This Place did not receive any government funding and all the artists were from outside the region. Brenner notes, “The viewer is asked to work, there are no resolutions, not for me and not for anyone. People will have to wrestle with the ideas of longing, belonging and exclusion.”

Nick Waplington (British, born1970). Untitled, 2008–13. Chromogenic print, 18 x 22 in. (45.72 x 55.88 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Copyright © Nick Waplington

Image above: ©Nick Waplington (British, born1970). Untitled, 2008–13. Chromogenic print, 18 x 22 in. (45.72 x 55.88 cm) / Courtesy of the artist.

 

“We believe art has the power to spark change, challenge conventions, and build bridges. The Brooklyn Museum is proud to host this internationally traveling exhibition, as it gives us all an opportunity to think anew about this historic region of the world,” says Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director.

This Place will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue as well as companion books featuring each photographer’s work. The Museum will also host a series of public programs and community events exploring how artists around the globe are taking on difficult subjects in an effort to help us see our times from fresh and unusual perspectives.

For further information about upcoming programs, visit www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/this_ place.

Rosalind Fox Solomon (American, born 1930). Tel Aviv, 2011. Archival pigment print, 16 x 16 in. (40.6 x 40.6 cm). © 2011 Rosalind Fox Solomon, all rights reserved

Image above: Rosalind Fox Solomon (American, born 1930). Tel Aviv, 2011. Archival pigment print, 16 x 16 in. (40.6 x 40.6 cm). © 2011 Rosalind Fox Solomon, all rights reserved

 

This Place is organized by Chronicle of a People Foundation, Inc., New York, and the tour is managed by Curatorial Assistance, Pasadena, California. The exhibition was curated by Charlotte Cotton. The Brooklyn presentation is organized by Cora Michael, Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Michele Gerber Klein, Jerome and Ellen Stern, and the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Exhibition Fund.

This Place will be on view at Brooklyn Museum until June 5, 2016 at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY

Hiroshi Sugimoto at Pace Gallery

Christopher Payne at Benrubi Gallery