Josef Koudelka: Wall Hardcover – October 31, 2013
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The vistas are resolutely grim, and Koudelka makes no attempt to aestheticize them, yet his sweeping photos are overwhelming. The moral chasm that opens between the sheer impact of the visual and knowledge of what is being depicted is fully intended: an invitation to consider, rather than to simply turn the page in horror and sadness. – The New York Times
Here he has produced a remarkable collection of panoramic photos (each 29-by-10-inch spread is a single picture) of the barrier that has been erected over the past decade in defiance of the internationally recognized border. – The New York Times
Josef Koudelka's Wall is not a neutral assessment of Israel's construction of a 430-mile barrier separating Israel from the West Bank. His panoramic, black-and-white photographs of the structure and other significant landmarks, made between 2008 and 2012, are disorienting and brutal, utilizing motion blur, angled horizons and perspectives—ranging from expansive to intensely close-up—to contemplate the barrier's material and psychological effects. The captions for the images and other texts, written by researcher and writer Ray Dolphin, by and large focus on the questionable route of the wall and the hardships it's imposed on West Bank Palestinians. – PDN
Individually, these photographs of the 'security fence' (as Israelis call it) or the apartheid wall (as it is known by the Palestinians whose lives and landscape are blighted by it) have a stark and spectacular beauty. Taken together they create a daunting feeling of visual incarceration so intense, on a scale so massive, that the sky itself is—by turns—implicated, outraged. – Geoff Dyer, Time
- Item Weight : 4.01 pounds
- Hardcover : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1597112410
- ISBN-13 : 978-1597112413
- Dimensions : 15 x 0.9 x 10.6 inches
- Publisher : Aperture; First Edition (October 31, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,176,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Here, Koudelka brings that same vision to bear on the wall still under construction separating Israeli territory from that of the Palestinians. The book is full of sadness--the wall is obviously intended to "contain" the Palestinian "problem", and is being built at considerable expense by Israel, but shows how far one group of people feel they must go to stop suicide bombers...
I agree with the first reviewer that the printing in the book is difficult--to me, the images all seem dark and gloomy, too much ink on the page--and, yes, some of the images are not sharp, but I attributed that to Koudelka's camera work--he's working with big film, and not everything is in focus--something that is not the fault of the printer... But both the dark printing and the lack of focus contribute to the feel of the book.
I've heard many news stories about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians--but somehow this book manages to convey a mood of anguish that the news never carries.
Here it is another story. It is a beautiful book, with the kind of pictures that you were waiting for. It tells us a story about a wall, one more. The Chinese wall is turning to dust in the desert (at least the not renewed parts), the Berlin wall fell after 30 years, how long will this one last? The strange thing is that this wall turns two countries into a prison, not a nice thing. But for Israelis, there is no hope, the wall is their wall and it is the wall of FEAR, poor people.
Returning to the book, it is beautifully printed in China on a nice paper. The design by Xavier Barral brings Koudelka pictures to an incredible presence, even if they are so large that one or two of them seem to be unsharp. I have no problems with the cut in the middle of the spread, but may be some people will have some.
Top reviews from other countries
Much of the work looks as if done quickly and on the go BUT that does not mean ill considered, far from it, this approach (?) only adds to an amazing dynamic. It was created over four years.
L'impaginazione e la rilegatura minimaliste ed eleganti.
Parlano le immagini ed il libro è esattamente quello che si presenta nel titolo: la rappresentazione attraverso fotografie di come la Barriera di Separazione Israeliana generi un nuovo "paesaggio".
Questa mia recensione non vuole essere un apologia del suddetto muro, piuttosto un invito a capirne l'impatto, in questo caso attraverso l'occhio di Koudelka.