The Israeli Center for Digital Art, curator: Gilad Melzer
Miki Kratsman, Targeted Killing, 2010, digital print, 116X170 cm.
Targeted Killing, 2011
a series of digital prints, 116×170
The expression “targeted killing” has taken root in Hebrew over the past decade. It denotes the execution of a person suspected of or wanted for terrorist activity or for his affiliation with a terrorist organization without any legal procedure or investigation. The suspects are executed by fire from the ground, from manned or unmanned aircraft, or by means of bombs planted in their homes or cars. Sometimes, a misidentification occurs, rendering the killing not-so-targeted, and often there is what the army terms “collateral damage”—fatalities and injuries in the suspect’s immediate vicinity and damage to unrelated property.
In his new series, Miki Kratsman, who has been documenting life in the occupied Palestinian territories for more than two decades, assumes the role of “targeter”: the one who identifies the suspect, follows him, and pulls the trigger—this time, the camera’s trigger. The entire series was shot from Jerusalem’s Mt. Scopus using the same kind of lens that is installed in unmanned aircraft. The suspects—imaginary in this case—appear absorbed in mundane activity, not suspecting that they are being tailed, that something is about to happen to them. Kratsman “imitates” the strategy of suspicion and the framing of the victim-target, as elaborated by the IDF’s spokesmen via images presented to the press and the public, linking it to hunting and to electronic surveillance practices. The paranoid aesthetics have the effect of framing every subject as a suspect, implying that the pressing of the shutter release or the trigger is suitable punishment.
Gilad Melzer, from the exhibition text