West Bank

What am I doing on the roof of my car, smashed on the platform from where ‘it is sweet to stand and see, from the safe and distant shore, others in distress amidst billows and raging gales; not drawing delight from another’s misfortune, but rejoicing over being spared such desperation*’? Doubtless as an artist, I am at war, too – Sophie Ristelhueber (*excerpt from Lucretius, “De Rerum Natura”, II, 1-4) In her intensely personal yet objectively restrained photographs, Sophie Ristelhueber embraces and records the scars of human existence. ‘I have these obsessions that I do not completely understand, with the deep mark, with the ruptured surface, with scars and traces, traces that human beings are leaving on the earth’, she says. She transcends the turmoil and specificity of a location and creates art without limits of time and identity through photographs that are haunting, provocative and telling. Ristelhueber’s photographs only ever carry evidence of human activity, never images of people themselves: it is through the absence of life that she manages so profoundly to address life’s fragile presence.

cm 11×18; pp. 110; hardcover. Publisher: Thames & Hudson, London, 2005.

ISBN: 9780500542989 | 0500542988
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ID: 12265

Product Description

What am I doing on the roof of my car, smashed on the platform from where ‘it is sweet to stand and see, from the safe and distant shore, others in distress amidst billows and raging gales; not drawing delight from another’s misfortune, but rejoicing over being spared such desperation*’? Doubtless as an artist, I am at war, too – Sophie Ristelhueber (*excerpt from Lucretius, “De Rerum Natura”, II, 1-4) In her intensely personal yet objectively restrained photographs, Sophie Ristelhueber embraces and records the scars of human existence. ‘I have these obsessions that I do not completely understand, with the deep mark, with the ruptured surface, with scars and traces, traces that human beings are leaving on the earth’, she says. She transcends the turmoil and specificity of a location and creates art without limits of time and identity through photographs that are haunting, provocative and telling. Ristelhueber’s photographs only ever carry evidence of human activity, never images of people themselves: it is through the absence of life that she manages so profoundly to address life’s fragile presence.

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