Taysir Batniji

In the latest issue of the art magazine Taide I found an intriguing article about the Seeing Is Believing exhibition at Kunst-Werke in Berlin. Or it wasn’t actually the text that fascinated me, but the image accompanying it. First I thought it was Berndt and Hilla Becker’s work (after reading the artist’s statement I learned that this was his intention) but when scanning quickly through the article it came to my knowledge, that the artist was the Palestinian born Taysir Batniji.

I visited his homepage and I was actually quite amazed about his work and how his brain functions. The image that caught my eye in the magazine was from the series Watchtowers (2008), where he had established typologies of the military watchtowers on the West Bank. For a quite obvious reason I found this project interesting. What was especially nice, was to see installation views from an exhibition, as I’m struggling with my own typologies, to build up an exhibition that would make some kind of sense.

But his other works were also fascinating, for example GH0809 (2010) and Fathers (2006). These are exactly the kind of work I’m interested in doing. Works that in a way goes beyond visual aesthetics to a more anthropological approach. I’m not so interested in making myself and my life the subject of my art, even though my work is strictly subjective, being influenced by my opinions and my background. I’m also not giving so much value to the single image as I do to the greater whole and fore most the idea. For me, sometimes the idea is even more important than the image.  Can I, in the role of a photographer, say that?

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