Taysir Batniji – Watchtowers
Taysir Batniji‘s artwork is about military watchtowers which guard the border between Israel and Palestine. At the first view, his work seems some kind of an emotionless collection of war architecture. His artwork documents all Israeli checkpoints in Palestine, while using the style of Bernd and Hilla Bechers work: Watertowers.
“But the work is also a frustrated attempt to follow the Bechers’ working method, for as a Palestinian born in Gaza Batniji is not authorized to return to the West Bank. Instead, Batniji asked a Palestinian photographer living in the West Bank to shoot the images for him. The result is far from the formal perfection of the Bechers’. “ (Newtopia-Catalogue).
It wasn’t enough time at the shootings to find the perfect focus, best vantage point or ideal light conditions. So, at the second view, the collection of the Isreali checkpoints becomes very close to the situation of the Palestinian. Each tower is keeping in memory the war-situation in the Near East and the permanent locked in of all Palestinian in their own “none-state”.
Besides to NEWTOPIA, where he exhibits the Watchtower series, there is an article at the Magazin Foam #31 (Ref. Summer 2012) where you can see more pictures of his work “Watchtowers”.