Gilad Ophir

Untitled, from the Series: "Necropolis",Israel, 1997

Color photograph, 131x161 cm

Courtesy of the artiste

“Necropolis” is a series of photographs of camps and abandoned military structures that Gilad Ophir created in collaboration with photographer Roi Kuper. Necropolis’ literal meaning is “city of the dead” but what is buried in Necropolis is not dead people, writes Dror Burstein, “Rather the place itself is the cemetery and the dead thing. Ophir’s Necropolis is primarily a dark parody of the architectural expressions of the project of Western Enlightenment. The parody is double: not only does it display the devastation of the project, it allows the viewer to guess what its distortions are, even before destruction and abandonment occurs. In other words, the photos do not merely depict the destruction of an ethos, but the ethoses own self-destruction. That which spoke of control, order, fear and death began, finally, to go mad: he began to speak to himself. Necropolis is that speech. If architecture is the words, the bullets are the diacritics. Together these make up the poetry verses of Necropolis, cement and steel riddled with holes. The point here is that the words and the diacritics were scripted by the very same enlightened ethos.”