The Resolution of the Suspect
Radius Books 2016
New Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in JournalismNew Books in Middle Eastern StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PhotographyNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network August 30, 2016 Lorena Turner
The Resolution of the Suspect by Israeli photographer Miki Kratsman, with text by Ariella Azoulay, is co-published by the Peabody Museum Press at Harvard and Radius Books of Santa Fe, NM (2016). Mr. Kratsman was the 2011 recipient of the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography, an internationally recognized award given annually by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology to a photographer who has demonstrated great originality working in the documentary vein.
Through images created in the context of daily news, his tens of thousands of photographs have, in retrospect, taken on fascinating new meanings, as bystanders become protagonists and peripheral details move to the center. Isolated from the original frame, cropped, enlarged, and redisplayed, the reimagined images ask us to explore the limits of the observers gaze under conditions of occupation. These photographs look at both “wanted men”—individuals sought by the Israeli state– and the everyman and everywoman on the street who, by virtue of being Palestinian in a particular time and place, can be seen as a “suspect.” The work is both transgressive and banal, crossing boundaries between Israel and Palestine, wanted and innocent, street photography and surveillance imagery. Kratsman has also provoked vital, long-term interaction around the images on social media, creating a Facebook page on which viewers are invited to identify the individuals portrayed and comment on their “fate.” His complex project is chronicled in this book in more than 300 images that powerfully implicate the viewer as we follow the gaze of both occupier and occupied within a complex web of power relations around issues of life and death. Supported with thought-provoking text by Ariella Azoulay, she looks at various models of historical and civil construction of the gaze and explores the ways in which the shadow of death is an actual threat that hovers over Kratsman’s photographed persons and frames both individuals and the borrowed time within which they exist.
Miki Kratsman was born in Argentina and emigrated to Israel in 1971. He worked as a photojournalist for Hadashot and Ha’aretz until 2012. A photo educator for a number of years, Mr. Kratsman has taught at the Camera Obscura College of Photography and the School for Geographic Photography of Tel Aviv as well as in the Department of Art in Haifa University, he was also the head of the photography department at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design until 2014, when he retired.