Schaden.com - Projects * Publishing * for International Contemporary Photography

 

Gillian Laub
Testimony
HC 30 x 24 cm.
Aperture 2007

For the past four years, Gillian Laub has worked in Israel and Palestine, producing portraits of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Nablus, and other locations in the region. Testimony contains fifty of her portraits of Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, displaced Lebanese families, and Palestinians - each personally affected by the geopolitical context in which they live, and each unveiling one more essential element in the puzzle of peace for the Middle East.
In some of Laub's photographs, the traces of conflict are immediately observable - teenage boys without limbs; a young woman enveloped in scar tissue and a burn-recovery suit. Others are seemingly free from the disfigurements of violence. Yet in the interviews that accompany each portrait, a common thread of survival is revealed. Resilience, pride, defiance, vulnerability - and most astonishing of all, optimism - emerge from one statement to the next. Author David Rieff has said of Laub's work, "To consider these images is to be reminded not just of human cruelty and human stupidity but also of human tenacity."

Two essays, one by Palestinian-Israeli civil rights lawyer Raef Zreik and one by Israeli professor Ariella Azoulay, underline the complexity of the work and the dialogue Laub hopes it will spark.

 


random picks