Dead bodies on the street, photographed from a car. The maker of the photograph cannot be revealed. Victims are mostly kidnapped and then murdered. Bodies are thrown on the street as warning or terror. Some militias prohibit family members to pick up the dead bodies. Sometimes it proves be a booby trap.

Why, Mister, Why? and Baghdad Calling

Artists: Geert Van Kesteren

Dates: 03.10.08 - 16.11.08

Venue: BPB at Lighthouse

Geert Van Kesteren (NL) has established himself as one of the most thoughtful and innovative photojournalists working today. He has used his pictures in books and in large multimedia installations comprising live data feeds. His book, Why, Mister, Why? is one of the few photographic books to attempt a political and synthetic view of the Iraq war. It tracks the brutal tactics of the coalition forces, the many humiliations of life for ordinary Iraqis under the occupation, Shia religious ceremonies and the unearthing by relatives of the mass graves of victims of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship. With Baghdad Calling, Van Kesteren worked with Iraqi refugees, millions of whom have been scattered across the globe by the conflict in one of the largest humanitarian crises of modern times. He became fascinated by their use of phone images through which they communicated with each other and those that remained in Iraq. These images, sometimes mundane shots of family life made poignant by circumstances of separation, sometimes images of bombings and other killings, are contrasted with Van Kesteren’s own eloquent photographs of the conditions of the refugee.

For the Biennial, Van Kesteren will make installations of both sets of work, the first time that they have been seen together.

Supported by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Mondriaan Foundation, John Kobal Foundation and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

 

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