Kai Wiedenhöfer – The Book of Destruction
Gaza – One Year After the 2009 War
For more than 20 years Kai Wiedenhöfer has been taking photographs in the Middle East, a place where many journalists and photographers have covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet Wiedenhöfer is unique in that he concentrates exclusively on Gaza, and often remains there to take photos long after the media has moved onto more 'pressing' news stories.
Even in 2009 after the offensive of the Israeli army, Wiedenhöfer was in Gaza. During this time he took disturbingly quiet, almost repetitive pictures of the bleak aftermath of the war that form The Book of Destruction. Wiedenhöfer´s images of crumbling ruins and maimed civilians are a powerful landscape of disquiet and destruction.
Kai Wiedenhöfer, born in Schwenningen, Germany in 1966, received a Masters in photography and editorial design from the Folkwang School in Essen and studied Arabic in Damascus, Syria. Since 1989 the focus of his work has been the Middle East. Wiedenhöfer has received numerous awards including the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Alexia Foundation For World Peace Grant, World Press Photo Awards, the Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography and the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award. Steidl has published Wiedenhöfer’s Perfect Peace (2002), Wall (2007) and The Book of Destruction (2010) whose photos comprised a solo exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
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