Gaston Zvi Ickowicz

Untitled (episodes from a settlement series), Israel , 2003-2006

Israel Lambda print photograph 120x144cm

Courtesy of the artist and Tavi Dresdner Gallery, Tel Aviv

Between 2003 and 2006 Gaston Zvi Ickowicz documented the settlements on the West Bank and the Gaza strip. His photographs centre on the architecture of the settlements, portraits of the settlers, fences and road-blocks, and examine their relationship with the landscape. Ickowicz’s photographs reveal the character of the buildings, whose future as ruins is marked upon them from the moment of their construction.

“It isn’t just the abandoned structures, part of which has already been salvaged as spare parts to be recycled, but new buildings too, only just standing on some plot that was cleared of bushes and rocks, they too contain their own sense of removal. It isn’t prophetic knowledge that does it, but a strong sense of not-belonging about the houses which reveals itself immediately to the eye of the photographer in an immediate and painful manner.

“Gaston Ickowicz’s photographs do not trade in condemnation or admiration of the building and demolition of the Israeli settlements… they do not tell any complete tale at all: neither the story of those who hung their hopes on these settlements nor the story of those who saw them as criminal and oppressing a region which was not a legitimate possession of the state of Israel. His photographs reveal not only how much an act of expulsion was implicit in the construction of these settlements, but also how much expulsion there was in the reason for their construction and manner of their construction.” (From Ariel Hirschfeld’s “Domains”)