The Book of Destruction

December 21, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Photographers | 6 Comments | |
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The Book of Destruction is a new exhibition by the award-winning German photographer, Kai Wiedenhöfer. Opening at the Mosaic Rooms in west London on 28 January 2011, Wiedenhöfer witnesses and records the destruction of Gaza’s buildings and the injuries inflicted on its inhabitants during the Israeli offensive in 2009, known as Cast Lead.

The Mosaic Rooms Press Release

Kai Wiedenhöfer
The Book of Destruction
28 January – 12 February 2011
The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW

An exhibition by the award-winning German photographer, Kai Wiedenhöfer, entitled The Book of Destruction, opens at the Mosaic Rooms in west London on 28 January 2011.

For over 20 years Kai Wiedenhöfer has documented the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2009, he won the inaugural Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Prize, a competition in which photographers were assigned the subject of the Gaza Strip and awarded a grant to undertake a new body of work around it.

In November 2009 Wiedenhöfer returned to Gaza to witness and record the destruction of its buildings and the injuries inflicted on its inhabitants during the Israeli offensive, known as Cast Lead. The result is a harrowing collection of landscapes and portraits that are at once deeply moving yet full of humanity and dignity - an uncompromising indictment of the ruthless immorality of war.

Kai Wiedenhöfer comments: “What stunned me most in Gaza were the methods that human beings develop to make an utter misery out of other people’s lives – with a ‘creativity’ which leaves in its wake a geography of utter destruction and pain.”

Born in Germany in 1966, Kai Wiedenhöfer studied photography at the Folkwang School in Essen and Arabic in Damascus, Syria. He has received numerous awards, including the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Alexia Grant for World Peace and Cultural Understanding, World Press Photo Awards and the Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. He has published three books with Steidl - Perfect Peace (2002), Wall (2007) and The Book of Destruction (2010). Currently he is working on a book about separation barriers and borders worldwide.

Fresh from its widely publicised premiere at the Musée d’Art modern de la Ville de Paris, this is the first time that The Book of Destruction will be exhibited in the UK. Funds raised through the exhibition will be used to support the individuals featured in his photographs.

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#1 Jonathan Gale

Powerful imagery, look forward to the exhibition.

8:33 pm - Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#2 gilad

and what about the houses in the town of Sderot?!
which ware hit by Kasam missiles day and night for years?
shame on you!!!

8:47 pm - Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#3 geldberg

indiscriminate bombing of civilians on both sides.. what's the difference?

2:42 am - Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#4 Eric

I regret that Photographyblog posts articles with political content, especially on this highly controversed subject.
According to the writing, Kai Wiedenhöfer is a very skilled photographer, but unfortunately he is using his skills for increasing hate between people. He is looking only at one side of a conflict.
This article should be banned from PB.
We want photography. Not politics

8:50 am - Thursday, December 23, 2010

#5 documentary photography

I am a photo book lover (and hope to see more review of photo books here), but I don't like photo books with political message. This is probably because I see too many photos that are very sensational and well accepted but are only telling one-side story. I always wonder if the controversy of the story is making the photographer famous...

7:50 am - Friday, December 31, 2010

#6 Susan Murphy

Sad that anyone has suffered but when a group of desperate people invade a country, with little thought of those resident there ~ and then imposes a military occupation, creates discriminatory laws, and restricts the freedoms most of us in Europe consider fairly basic ~ such as the right to movement, family life, water, education and so on ~ little wonder that a small number resort to a violent response ~ departing from the majority's non-violent resistance. When the first 30 minutes bombing in the cynically named offensive (OCL - after a children's game !)kills more than 10 years of Kassam rockets ~ and in 22 days destroys schools, mosques, industry, farms, livestock and kills 1,400 ~ it is time that the world faced the reality. Wiedenhöfer
brings us some of the horror, yes, and why not ? Do we need to be shielded from truth ? Surely his work should move us all to do all in our power to understand and stand against the injustices. The kassam rockets weigh less than 100kg, and sometimes cause damage, but nothing compared with bombs weighing over 100 tons, rained indiscriminately on a trapped population for 22 days. I do not condone violence, but I can attempt to understand why they are fired ~ what drives people to launch these pathetic weapons ~ they protest against their plight ~ yet one of the most highly equipped armies in the world, supported by millions of American dollars, claims to be the victim ~ come on ~ WAKE UP. Show me the tower blocks in Sderot reduced to rubble by the rockets ~ get real.

9:19 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011