Israeli Sniper Wall
Simon Norfolk’s Israeli Sniper Wall depicts a border zone: a wall built between the Israeli settlement of Gilo, outside Jerusalem, and an adjacent Palestinian village, to protect Israeli settlers from gunfire. To brighten the view on the Israeli side, the wall has been painted with a landscape, the view as it would have been without the Palestinian village on the opposite side. The elegant composition, muted colors, and smooth tonalities of the photograph add to its almost otherworldly character. Norfolk's use of an old-fashioned mahogany and brass field camera—a large-format view camera with a slow shutter speed—also contributes to the epic quality of the image: a beauty in conflict, or at least in jarring juxtaposition, with the problematic subject at hand. Norfolk's extraordinary ability to fuse the timeless and the topical resonates with the Museum’s great collection of landscape paintings steeped in meaning, most notably the “Great Pictures” of the American West, such as Alfred Bierstadt’s A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie (1863).
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Emily Winthrop Miles Fund
© Simon Norfolk
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Simon Norfolk (British, born Nigeria, 1963). Israeli Sniper Wall, 2007. Chromogenic photograph, 40 x 50 in. (101.6 x 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, 2007.63.2. © Simon Norfolk
. Photograph courtesy of the artist and Bonnie Berubi Gallery, 2008
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