Gilo #3, 2001, digital print, 70X100 cm
Miki Kratsman// Works
Miki Kratsman is one of Israel's highly distinguished photographers. For over 22 years he has been infinitely committed to seriously documenting the evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and mainly, its bitter consequences on the daily life of the Palestinian population. From Kratsman's point of view, an accumulated documentation of this difficult daily routine – a routine comprised of different kinds of obstruction, death, memory, hope, insult, anger, hatred or acceptance – is more important, significant and even disquieting than any specific documentation of a potentially spectacular or extreme event .
The works exhibited in this show are, in some way, a unique collection gathered from this massive line of work. They include a combination of different techniques and diverse ways of observation. They were all taken beyond the green line, a concept that turned somewhat anachronistic in the last few years, while deliberating on certain generative phenomena. The separation wall, Road 443, Gush Katif and more.
The first exhibition hall includes color photographs taken at Gilo, Khan Yunis, Erez barrier, Jenin and more. The characterization of the separation wall on its different facades; the destruction of houses; the gateway administration; the phenomenon of the wanted armed men. In his early works Kratsman focused on the mediation of complex human situations, while intentionally stressing the way his actual presence in the field of occurrence functions as an active force, both influencing it and being affected by it. In the current show the focus is on defining the general state of affairs in a broad and principle manner, and not on distinct individual description. Most of the photographs are devoid of any direct human presence. Quiet photographs, almost pastoral, unrevealing and at the same time refining the fact they are connected with such a difficult and painful situation.
The other exhibition hall includes only photographs in black and white; A series that was taken at Gush Katif during 2005, just a few months before the media-covered evacuation. The series exposes a silent, abandoned and emptied out place. The swing of settlement, the wasteland flourishing, as if it had evaporated or had never really been. The drama in these works is not in the ongoing occurrence seen in them but rather in the meaning derived from it. The series demonstrates the dimension of the absolute, principle fraction embodied in the situation without connecting it to the political or ideological stance in relation to its circumstances. Kratsman's choice of the unique photographic format, that creates a dark halo around the image and a focus on the object at the center of the lens, creates a past tense, produces a feeling of remembrance. By doing so, the act of photography, serves Kratsman not only as a possible mediator for the act of separation and of grief, but also as a catalyst that wishes to urge it on.
The juxtaposition of the two sections of the show within one frame of thought is not attempting to indicate a connection of cause and effect, but to create a continual and rudimentary succession that binds the two sides of the separation wall together. A wall that is like a redundant scar in the landscape, that as an unattended cut, grew wild dermis, ledges, salients, pits and endless infections.