Nick Waplington lived in Jerusalem between 2008 and 2013, visiting over 350 distinct Jewish settlements in the region, from populous cities like Ariel to tiny outposts made up of a few caravans. This book’s title, Settlement, refers to the Jewish communities built in the region of the former state of Palestine known as the West Bank, an area of approximately 2,173 square miles, between the Jordan River and Jerusalem. The area was occupied by Israel in 1968, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War; Israel's right to govern is not recognised by the United Nations, which deems any Israeli building in this area to be a violation of international law. The book investigates the topography of Jewish identity in the West Bank, which is in conflict not only with the Palestinian majority but also with mainstream Israeli society: While all the settlers are Jewish, and almost all are Israeli citizens, many are not natives of Israel. Most of the men and women photographed by Waplington are immigrants who arrived in the West Bank from the United States, South Africa, Australia, the UK, the former Soviet Union, and other parts of the wider Jewish diaspora. The exact number of settlements cannot be determined with accuracy, as both construction and demolition take place regularly throughout the region. In general, however, the presence of Jewish settlers in the West Bank is entrenched, and their building projects continue with the support of the state of Israel.
Five years ago, French photographer Stéphane Lavoué discovered a charming corner of the United States. Located in the state of Vermont, it is known as the Northeast Kingdom. This little area is characterised by the wild ruggedness of the landscape, as well as by its residents, who are the focus of the series. You are invited to take part in a special journey!
Fire in Cairo
Fire in Cairo emerged from Egypt as an oblique and fragmentary document of revolutionary struggle. The book charts Connors’ uneasy engagement with the political turmoil that gripped the nation during its rapidly unfolding history. The complexity of the situation resisted comprehensive explanation, but invited metaphorical speculation. In his images Cairo reveals itself to be an enormous studio for social change, ripe with visual, sculptural and atmospheric residues of resistance. He weaves these together with portraits of Egyptians from across the political spectrum and his own experimental fiction. The result is a book that careens between reportage, poetry and surrealism to heighten the tensions between beauty, threat and historical consequence.
Die zweite Heimat
Die zweite Heimat is the continuation of his project Heimat, first published in 2005. Between 2011 and 2016, Peter Bialobrzeski traveled through Germany and returned with 30,000 photographs of places and non-places. He spent time in Andernach, Berlin, Bottrop, Eisenhüttenstadt, Hamburg, Hagen, Haßloch, Meißen, Frankfurt, Offenbach, Wolfsburg, and especially the wide expanses in between, these foreign yet familiar places, with their rows of garage doors, street lamps, and gas stations, as Henning Sußebach describes in the accompanying book published by Hartmann Books. With this series, more than thirty years after Steven Shore’s famous publication Uncommon Places, Bialobrzeski has attempted to compile a photographic inventory of the German condition. He himself speaks of "exploring the social surface of Germany."
La laguna di Venezia
The city of Venice was founded in the 5th century and spread over 118 small islands. It is worldwide-known for its blend of historical palaces, bridges, squares and local artisan shops. At the far ends of the city one can chance upon a different world ruled by seawater, strands, animals and plants. All together they constitute a unique and fragile ecosystem which past industrial developments and current increase of tourism are seriously putting at risk. Venice and its Lagoon - one of the biggest and most important in the Mediterranean - was declared world heritage site by UNESCO and still remains off touristic routes. Uninhabited islands, small watercrafts, piers, harbours and fishing infrastructures merge with the natural environment and extreme conditions man has to face in this very special place. With this project Nicolò Degiorgis aimes to pay homage to the city of Venice and draw our attention towards its controversies.
Ron Jude’s (b. 1965, American) Vitreous China is comprised of an archive of photographs he made while exploring areas of light industry in (primarily) Midwestern American cities. Rather than comment on the workings of industry itself, Jude depicts the ambient peripheral zones suffusing these environments: big rig parking lots, side exits, and other secondary spaces in which Jude imagines his grandfather might have daydreamed, or let his mind wander, during his many years as a kiln operator in vitreous china plants, first in the Midwest, and later in Southern California. Supplanting the narrative inadequacies of photography with an alternate experience of atmospheric immersion, Jude exploits the seemingly factual, descriptive traits of the medium while also pursuing moments of subjective transcendence. Like the paradoxical relationship between the surface beauty of vitreous china (an enamel coating applied to porcelain) and its blunt, utilitarian function (strengthening toilets & sinks), the photographs, interwoven with a series of short texts by Mike Slack, attempt to tease out an experience that embraces both the physical crudeness of these spaces as well as the intangible complexes of memory and narrative encoded within them.
Vegas and She
For »Vegas and She«, Moshammer shadowed the workers in the city’s omnipresent adult entertainment industry, the strippers from the clubs along the boulevards and their less illustrious side streets. Vegas emerges before us as a city of illusion and pretense built on the desert sand, a place where even the bodies of the residents gradually submit to the imperative of beautiful semblance and surfaces—pink Cadillacs, green marble, the mirrors in hotel elevators—are not manifestations of what lies underneath but the screens on which dreams are projected. With »Vegas and She« Moshammer was in the selection for the ViennaPhotoBookAward 2014.
In Lago, Ron Jude returns to the California desert of his early childhood as if a detective in search of clues to his own identity. In a book of 54 photographs made between 2011 and 2014, he attempts to reconcile the vagaries of memory (and the uncertainty of looking) with our need to make narrative sense of things. Using a desolate desert lake as a theatrical backdrop, Jude meanders through the arid landscape of his youth, making note of everything from venomous spiders to discarded pornography. If one considers these traces to be a coded language of some sort, Jude’s act of photographing and piecing them together becomes a form of cryptography – like a poetic archeology that, rather than attempting to arrive at something conclusive, looks for patterns and rhythms that create congruity out of the stuttering utterances of the visible world. According to Jude, “these harmonies, when we’re lucky enough to find them, are probably the closest we can get to discovering actual ‘meaning’ and grasping the potency of place.”