Gaston Zvi Ickowicz

Settlement, Israel, 2006

Color print 120/150 cm

From the Museum's collection

In the years 2003-06, Gaston Zvi Ickowicz documented Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. By focusing on the architecture of these settlements and the portraits of their settlers as well as on fences and checkpoints, his photographs examine their relation to the landscape. In this photograph, Ickowicz emphasizes the controversy surrounding the houses that were built during the construction boom in the days of vision and hope and later were evicted and reduced to debris and ruins. The houses stand, abandoned and demolished, like a pile of junk, or a monument to the question of possession and belonging. Ickowicz’s photographs neither condemn nor idolize the acts of building and demolishing performed in Israeli settlements. Theirs is not a complete story, be it that of those who pinned their hopes on these settlements, or that of those who considered them a crime of trampling a space that does not belong to the State of Israel in any legitimate sense. His photographs reveal not only to what extent the expulsion lies in the very construction of these settlements, but also to what extent the expulsion is part of the reason for and the manner of their construction.