Landscape of Khiam
14 Photographic print on Dibond
120 x 90 cm in size
The series of photos “Landscapes of Khiam 2006-2007
” was taken during a whole year in the camp of Khiam after the war of July 2006.
The detention camp of Khiam was turned into a museum after it had been dismantled in May 2000, following the withdrawal from Lebanon of the Israeli army. During the last war, in 2006, the camp was totally destroyed. In the middle of the ruins rise steel boards bearing photos representing the camp before it was razed. Those boards rise among the new ruins and transform the razed camp once more into a museum.
We photographed from the same distance the 14 existing boards, using the same set-up, the same protocole but during the four seasons of the year. Set side by side, the boards as photographed recreate the topography of the camp.
But strangely, those images do not give a general view of the camp, and give practically no information on the destroyed sites they are supposed to document. They simply illustrate details of little significance which distort the idea of before/after.
Those images allow the necessary critical distance to undertake a new articulation of the image, and mainly of the propaganda to which resort the actual powers and the monuments they attempt to put up.
The extraordinary staging of that same destruction seems an artistic installation but without an artist. This set-up creates a temporal confusion and challenges our position as viewers, our relation to the image, to its “mise en abyme”.
How can one relate to History, to memory if, whenever faced with the past, instead of coming to terms with it, we are content with superimposing another image on the ruins of an image, a temporality on another, a reality on another. Other installations for Khiam: Khiam 2000 – 2007 War Trophies Objects of Khiam Ansar