Camera Austria International 111 | 2010
The monographic contributions to this issue of Camera Austria No. 111/2010 explore the question as to the appropriateness of artistic means in approaching the virulent political, societal and historical questions of our time. Three of these contributions originally existed in the form of an artist’s book, that combines images and texts and creates a sequence of chapters and narrative threads. Omar D., for example, conceived his memory work Devoir de mémoire. A Biography of Disappearance. Algeria 1992 –, that he developed over the course of several years, as an artist’s book. He devotes this work to the thousands of missing persons – victims of the civil war in 1990’s Algeria – and their families. It is forbidden to talk about this bloody domestic conflict in Algeria, and so the families are robbed of any chance to investigate their missing family members. Omar D.’s book was (significantly) published not in France but in England, as was Bruno Boudjelal’s book “Jours intranquilles / Disquiet Days“. In this travel diary, Boudjelal, who was born in France, describes his approach to Algeria, the country his father came from and to which he finally also travels himself. For the publication in Camera Austria he chose a series of fifteen photographs taken in Bentalha, the site of a massacre in 1997, that he visited on his trip in 2002. These two works are introduced by an essay by the Algerian author and human rights activist Salima Ghezali. In her text she sets out to explore the question as to why the conflict in the 1990s was referred to as a “war without images” and whether art could enable us to understand a sense-less war.