Photographer and video artist Ori Gersht turns his lens on sites of collective trauma, violence and loss, examining the power of time and landscape to preserve and erase history.
This exhibition features ‘Evaders’, a two channel film and series of photographs which trace the journey used by the German-Jewish writer and philosopher, Walter Benjamin on his ill-fated journey in 1940 to escape Nazi-occupied France across the Pyrenees.
The clear visual references to German Romanticism in Gersht’s ‘Evaders’, particularly to the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, are suggestive of a fatal attachment to German culture that prevented Walter Benjamin, like many others, from grasping the horrific scope of the Nazi agenda until it was too late to escape its consequences. Gersht skillfully combines this history with his own more recent cultural upheavals and current concerns over Europe’s border controls or the lack of them.
‘Evaders’ is accompanied by photographs from the ‘White Noise’ series which also take a journey as their starting point – the train journey from Krakow to Auschwitz. Gersht photographed the scenes from his train window using a slow shutter speed, allowing the images to blur and slip away like memories in the process of forgetting.
Guest-curated by Sanna Moore.