Collection

The Body of Film, Dupont Nitrate

Fecha:
2017
Tipo obra:
Photograph
Procedencia:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Registre núm:
Proposta A 1

Akram Zaatari is part of the generation of Lebanese artists who, in recent decades, have focused their work on the wars and post-war conflicts in this region of the Middle East. As a founding member of the Arab Image Foundation or AIF, he has helped to preserve and disseminate the photographic heritage of the Middle East, including the work of Antranick Bakerdjian.

In May 1948, Bakerdjian photographed his demolished house in the Armenian neighbourhood of Jerusalem, a moment that marked a turning point in his work. Instead of portraying friends during religious ceremonies and on outings, he began to photograph the fortification of Saint James’ Cathedral in the Old City of Jerusalem, where many Armenian families had taken refuge. Being in the middle of a war, Bakerdjian was not only without a darkroom, but was constantly forced to change addresses. While examining Bakerdjian’s negative archive, Zaatari decided to use the film’s physical materiality as a witness to this war, focusing on the deterioration and the different types of film inscribed in the margins of the negatives, such as DuPont, Safety, Nitrate and Panchromatic. With this photographic material, Zaatari presents a warlike history documented through the passage of time and the decay of the photographic emulsion.

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