Josef Koudelka’s Wall comprises panoramic landscape photographs made from 2008-2012 in East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem and in various Israeli settlements along the route of the barrier separating Israel and Palestine. Whereas Israel calls it the “security fence,” Palestinians call it the “apartheid wall,” and groups like Human Rights Watch use the term “separation barrier,” Koudelka’s project is metaphorical in nature–focused on the wall as a human fissure in the natural landscape. Sometimes blocks of concrete define the panoramas; at other times displaced olive trees–a lifeline for one man, collateral damage in another’s claim for territory–subtly emerge. As in his Black Triangle project, made in the Bohemian foothills of the Ore Mountains in the early 1990s, Wall conveys the fraught relationships between man and nature and between closely related cultures. A chronology, lexicon and captions provide context for the photographs. The book is designed by Xavier Barral, working closely with Koudelka. Wall is part of a larger project, This Place, initiated by photographer Frederic Brenner. This Place explores Israel as place and metaphor through the eyes of 12 acclaimed photographers, who were invited to look beyond dominant political narratives and to explore the complexity of the place–not to judge, but to question and to reveal.
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