Gardner Photography Fellow, 2011
Miki Kratsman is a prize-winning Argentinean-born photographer who has lived in Israel since 1971. His work has appeared in the Venice Art Biennale, and in solo exhibitions from Tel Aviv to Seoul , Madrid, and New York. Kratsman will create a project called Palestinian Semblance (working title).
Since 1986, Kratsman has covered the occupied territories as a photographer for several newspapers, mostly for the Schoken Group, publishers of Ha'aretz newspaper. Over the years, he has photographed Palestinians at demonstrations, daily activities, celebrations, funerals, for profile story portraits, and more.
During his Fellowship, Kratsman will create a portfolio of photographs that explore how Palestinians appear to the eye of the beholder, whether that person is a passerby, a newspaper reader, or an Israeli soldier. In one group, Kratsman will present Palestinians as targets, shot with a lens used by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) unmanned aerial vehicles. In another group, Kratsman will isolate images of those identified as shahids or martyrs as portrayed on neighborhood posters or placards. A third group takes inspiration from Francois Aubert's photograph of the shirt of Maximilian, ruler of Mexico, just after his execution in 1867; each of these will feature the last piece of clothing worn by a Palestinian before he was killed. The final group builds on Kratsman’s discovery that many of the Palestinians he’s photographed over the decades have been killed; in a field study, he will ask Palestinians to mark his photos to indicate who is “wanted,” a victim, or a shahid, and these marked photos will complete the portfolio.