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Malmö Konsthall

S:t Johannesgatan 1, 200 10 Malmö

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Alle dage 11-17, Onsdag 11-21

Black Friday

Kent Klich

12.09.2015 - 27.09.2015


Photographer Kent Klich's new project Black Friday is the third part of his ongoing depiction of life in Gaza. The two previous ones are Gaza Photo Album (2009) and Killing Time (2013)*. His pictures can be seen as a reaction to all the photos of catastrophic scenes from the area that reach us via the mass media - the constant press photos of acts of violence. Klich portrays in a more low-key way the conditions under which people in Gaza live. We often only encounter the setting - the place where something has happened - the traces of the events, after the violence. Or we meet the people before the moment that changed everything, in their everyday life that exists despite it all. The photographs' strength lies in what they leave out - that which we cannot see but still know about.

The Gaza Strip is one of the world's most densely populated places. Some 1.8 million people live in an area about as big as one-quarter of Öland. Israel's blockade of Gaza, which this year enters into its ninth year, affects the Palestinian people's freedom of movement, trade with the outside world, educational opportunities and hopes for the future. From 2008 until today, Gaza has been subjected to three attacks. The latest, Operation Protective Edge, occurred in the summer of 2014, when more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed (the majority of which were civilians, according to the United Nations), plus 66 Israeli soldiers and 7 civilians in Israel. Black Friday depicts the attack on the city of Rafah: 01/08/2014, and its aftermath.

At seven o'clock in the morning on Friday 1 August 2014, the sky over Gaza goes silent when a 72-hour-long ceasefire goes into effect. But the ceasefire quickly ends. In its blog, the Israeli military (IDF) writes: "We suspect that a group of Hamas terrorists, including a suicide attacker, kidnapped 2nd. Lt. Goldin at 9:30AM & dragged him into a tunnel." Israel's defence authority activates the Hannibal directive, which refers to the Israeli belief that it is better to kill a captured soldier than to let the enemy have him. In the following hours the residents of Rafah are attacked with more than 2,000 aerial bombs and grenades. More than 130 Palestinians are killed that day, the majority of them civilians.

Black Friday bears witness to the events of these intensive hours. Taken after the event, Kent Klich's photographs depict the places where Palestinians were killed and the searched tunnel area where the Israeli soldier was captured. The photos are framed by Amnesty International's timeline of the event. The empty places are juxtaposed with photos of ID, passport and family photos of the Palestinians who died on 1-3 August. The exhibition also includes a presentation created by Amnesty and Forensic Architecture, which is a London-based research project that gathers and presents spatial analysis in legal and political forums.

Black Friday is a joint project with Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture. The book Black Friday will be published in the beginning of September.

This exhibition is part of Malmö Fotobiennal and Nordisk Panorama - Nordic Short and Doc Film Festival.

Kent Klich was born in Sweden in 1952 and has lived in Denmark since the early 1980s. He studied psychology at the University of Gothenburg and photography at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in the USA. He has produced a number of projects in the form of books, video works, films and exhibitions in many parts of the world. He was a member of the Magnum photographic co-operative from 1998 to 2002. In 2009 he won the Swedish Association of Professional Photographers' award for the Swedish photographic book of the year for his book Picture Imperfect.

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*Gaza Photo Album (2009) and Killing Time (2013)
Gaza Photo Album depicts private homes in the cut-off and isolated Gaza Strip after the Israeli attack during the winter of 2008 to 2009, known as Operation Cast Lead. The photos do not deal with claims to the truth, but rather with time and space, delays and dislocations. In the pictures, people are physically absent but still present, because the human aspect, that which is common to us all, the deeply private - in this case represented by the home - evokes a sense of closeness and identification.

Killing Time was created in 2013 and is divided into five chapters: Gaza 2001-2002 (black and white photos), What Life Looks Like (pictures from private photo albums in Gaza), Homes 2009 (photos of homes in Gaza destroyed during Operation Cast Lead), From A Distance, 2012 (landscape photos taken from the Israeli side looking into Gaza) plus the video installation Killing Time. The video installation depicts totally everyday sequences that people from Gaza filmed themselves with their mobile phone cameras before and during Operation Cast Lead. Most of the participants in the films died during the attack, and the survivors entrusted these "video diaries" of their nearest and dearest to Kent Klich so they could live on in his work.

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