"The title of GH0809 is an abbreviation of ‘Gaza Houses 2008-2009’; its letters and numbers resembling an illusory real estate company. The project was conceived after the army of the Israeli occupation launched a war on Gaza in 2008-09. This war claimed the lives of many Palestinian civilians, most of them children, caused by the widespread destruction of houses and facilities.
What concerns me here is the treatment of the topic, as is always the case in my works that take on the situation in Palestine. I use a visual frame derived from daily life by evoking commercial advertising, but with altered content. In this contradiction between form and content is an invitation to contemplate a reality far from the familiar, and beyond the scope of a journalistic report.
My works are perhaps less concerned with a specific topic or situation, and moreover an inquiry into representation itself, testing new forms and techniques, or re-appropriating existing forms, in an attempt to challenge familiarity, whether the image in question is journalistic, documentary or ‘artistic’."
Taysir Batniji (b. 1966, Gaza, Palestine) is an interdisciplinary visual artist who divides his time between France and Palestine. His practice incorporates drawing, painting, installation and performance, often closely related to his heritage – however since 2001 the artist has focused primarily on photography and video. Batniji has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including Untitled, 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011); Future of a Promise, a collateral event of the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Seeing is Believing, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011); and RAY 2012 Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt/Rhein-Main (2012). Taysir Batniji is represented by Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg & Beirut, and by Galerie Eric Dupont, Paris. www.taysirbatniji.com
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