3 June – 17 September 2017
Kent Klich has photographed life in the Gaza Strip since the early 2000s, offering alternative images to the short-lived sensationalism of mass media. With a profound interest in personal stories and a strong emphasis on collaborative efforts, his work focuses on the consequences of war in the everyday. This exhibition includes works from six series (2001–2017), two of which – GZA (2016–17) and Resistance (2016) – are being shown for the first time.
The Gaza Strip is a conflict-ridden Palestinian territory of approximately 360 square kilometres, with a population of two million. The area has been occupied by Israel since 1967, and it is still subject to Israeli blockades – there is no free movement to and from Gaza by land, air or sea. The current closure marks a decade as of June 2017, but there is scarce media coverage on the status quo surrounding the effects of the blockade on daily life.
Kent Klich seeks to expose the current situation in Gaza, and is committed to drawing attention to injustices and human rights violations in the area. Aware of the challenges involved in photographic representations of human suffering and of his own role as an outsider, he applies various methods of storytelling in order to address the complicated conflict. Information from activists in Gaza and from experts on human rights, forensics and Palestinian history intersect with testimonies from civilians whose lives are endangered. One such example is the video installation Killing Time, composed of personal mobile phone films taken by people who did not survive the military offensive called Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. Also displayed in the exhibition are the physical fragments of mosaics that once adorned the now demolished Gaza International Airport, along with photographs and films of the site, bearing witness to the severe limitations in movement for the people living in Gaza.
The exhibition and accompanying book Kent Klich: Gaza Works (published by Koenig Books and designed by BankerWessel, 2017), with essays by Judith Butler, Mette Sandbye, Raji Sourani, Eyal Weizman and Louise Wolthers, as well as a conversation between Kent Klich and Hasselblad Award laureate Susan Meiselas, are part of a broader strand of research on photography and human rights conducted and supported by the Hasselblad Foundation. It seeks to explore the role of photography in documenting human rights violations due to war, migration, segregation, and surveillance.
“Kent Klich’s work poses a range of vital questions regarding both the ethics and aesthetics of conflict, its aftermath, and the hope for solutions,” says Louise Wolthers, co-curator of the exhibition and Head of Research at the Hasselblad Foundation.
The exhibition will become part of the Hasselblad Foundation’s touring exhibitions as of autumn 2017.
Kent Klich was born in Sweden in 1952, and currently lives in Denmark. He studied psychology at the University of Gothenburg and photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. He joined the photo agency Magnum Photos in 1998 until 2002. Kent Klich has received international recognition with his project about Beth, a Danish sex worker whose life he has chronicled over the past thirty years, resulting in three books and several exhibitions. Other acclaimed projects include El Niño (1999), about homeless children in Mexico City, and Children of Ceausescu (2001), about HIV-positive children in Romania’s orphanages. A retrospective exhibition of his oeuvre will be displayed at the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen in 2018.
Louise Wolthers and Dragana Vujanović Östlind
Lecture by Christina Varvia, architect and researcher at Forensic Architecture.
Wednesday September 13 at 5 pm
A Day’s Worth of Pixels
Rafah: Black Friday and other related projects
Forensic Architecture is a research agency based in Goldsmiths University. It assembles a team of architects, filmmakers, activists, theorists and scientists, and employs architecture, not as a means of spatial design, but as a device for the articulation of notions of public truth. The project proposes a close reading of cities in conflict and the media battle that they demand.
About the lecture
As contemporary warfare increasingly becomes urban, the conception of modern cities, especially of the Middle East, becomes saturated with exported images of war. In recent years these conflicts are documented not only by professional journalists, but also by civilians fleeing their own cities under attack. These people turn into activists as they recognize the power of the image and use it as a currency in real-time storytelling. The media that envelops cities such as Rafah in Gaza, becomes a site of conflict itself, where the historical outcome of events is argued upon between citizen journalists, activists, press and government officials.
This presentation will introduce a series of works on this context and will focus on an architectural reading of one day of war in Gaza 2014. In addition to testimonies, the historical footprint of the conflict of the 1st August in Rafah, left behind a cloud of data; a disorderly collection of images, videos, tweets and metadata, seemingly unrelated to one another. In collaboration with Amnesty International, Forensic Architecture undertook a close examination of this day when close to 150 people where killed. The resulting report named Rafah: Black Friday illustrates the efforts to depart from a disparate cloud of images and to formulate an image complex: a set of spatial and temporal relationships between footage that can be used to unlock a sequence of events, through the means of architecture.
Panel discussion (in Swedish) on the situation for civilians in Gaza.
Place: Göteborg City Library
Time: Wednesday 30 Augusti
Kent Klich, artist
Helena Lindholm, professor, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
Mohad Aruqi, activist
Charlie Andreasson, sailor, Ship to Gaza
Victoria Strand, doctor, Ship to Gaza
Terje Carlsson, journalist and documentary film photographer.
Guided tours in Swedish, Sundays at 1 pm:
August 20, 27
September 3, 10, 17
Guided tours in Arabic, Saturdays at 1 pm:
September 2, 9, 16