Occupied Palestinian Territories, West Bank, August 2013. After grueling traffic at the Qalandia checkpoint, a young man enjoys a cigarette in his car as traffic finally clears on the last evening of Ramadan. A sheep, this year's sacrificial lamb for Eid, fills the entire passenger seat. Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR from the series «Occupied Pleasures» 2013.

Tanya Habjouqa: Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity + Picture of the Year: Exhibition & Seminar

Award-winning photographer, filmmaker and anthropologist Tanja Habjouqa (Jordan/US) opens Fotografihuset’s 2024 programme with a joint exhibition and seminar organised in collaboration with Preus Museum and OsloMet, based on her ongoing work from Palestine; Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity.
Alongside Habjouqa’s outdoor exhibition, the Project Space will screen all winning entries to Årets Bilde 2023 (Picture of the Year); the Press Photographers’ Club’s annual prize for the best in Norwegian photo and video journalism.  
Having spent 13 years in East Jerusalem with a husband and two Palestinian children, Tanya Habjouqa’s photographic eye has much in common with the Palestinian proverb “A distress makes you laugh, and a distress makes you cry,”  which was recited in her book “Occupied Pleasures”, which TIME Magazine mentioned as one of the best photo books in 2015.
With her unique perspective, she has mapped the physical and psychological boundaries that have defined Palestinian life during the occupation and up until the watershed on October 7. last year, when Gaza was hermetically closed to outside journalists. Habjouqa’s first solo exhibition in Norway, which is titled “Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity”, also includes photos taken on the West Bank in late November 2023 and includes excerpts from both “Occupied Pleasures” and the ongoing series “Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity”.  Both series trace the losses and victories that define Palestinian life; shattering confrontations, microscopic liberations, and the forging, holding, and remembering of space. She explores the tensions within and around landscapes and characters etched into the lives of the land’s occupied and occupying populations.

In connection with the opening weekend, Fotografihuset – in collaboration with Preus museum and OsloMet – organise the seminar “Images from Gaza: The Politics of Representation”.

In addition to contributions from Tanya Habjouqa and philosopher Arne Johan Vetlesen, there will be a dialogue between these two and, among others, political scientist Sylo Taraku; head of the research group MEKK (Media in War and Conflict) at OsloMet Kristin Skare Orgeret; social anthropologist, researcher, journalist, editor and author Anne Hege Simonsen; head of the Palestine Committee Line Khateeb and photo editor in the paper VG Espen Rasmussen.

March 13 – SEMINAR in collaboration with Preus Museum and OsloMet: «Images from Gaza: The Politics of Representation»,  17–19.30 in OsloMet’s auditorium Athene 1, Pilestredet 46, Clara Holst hus. Free entry.
EXHIBITION OPENING in collaboration with Preus Museum: Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity Årets Bilde, 16 March, at 15.00 at Fotografihuset at Sukkerbiten.
Born in Jordan and raised between Texas and the Middle East, award-winning journalist, artist, filmmaker and anthropologist Tanya Habjouqa (b. 1975) has become a leading advocate for innovation in photojournalism and documentary practice. With a mordant sense of irony fused with unstinting, forensic interrogations of the implications of geopolitical conflict on human lives, Habjouqa weaves narratives infused with folklore and dark humor. Trained in anthropology and journalism, with an MA in Global Media and emphasis on Middle Eastern politics, her work focuses on identity politics, occupation, dispossession, human rights and subcultures of the Levant.
She is the co-founder of Rawiya, the first female photography collective from the Middle East, and is a mentor in the Arab Documentary Program, providing marginalized narratives and narrative-creators with the space and skills to tell their stories. Her work is in the collections of the MFA Boston, the Institut du Monde Arab, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. She is a Nikon Europe Ambassador and advisor and teacher for the NOOR Foundation and the Nikon NOOR academy. Habjouqa is represented by the East Wing Gallery.

Stephen Gill – Please Notify the Sun: 17.8 – 17.9.23

Stephen Gill - Fra serien The Pillar (2015-19)

Stephen Gill - Please Notify the Sun

Opening at Fotografihuset:
Thursday the 17th August at 18:00. The exhibition is up until 17. of September.
Stephen Gill’s latest photo trilogy from Skåne exhibited for the first time in Norway with texts by Karl Ove Knausgård.
Stephen Gill became interested in photography in his early childhood, thanks to his interest in insects and initial obsession with collecting bits of pond life to inspect under his microscope.
Gill’s experimental technical forays run throughout his three decades of photographic practice and include burying images in the ground, developing negatives in energy drinks, and letting insects walk around inside the camera during shooting.
Fotografihuset is now exhibiting excerpts from his three latest photobooks, which stem from Gill’s farewell to London and his first encounters with the Swedish countryside. One of his new neighbours was Karl Ove Knausgård, who has written the texts for Gill’s trilogy from Skåne. The exhibition “Please Notify the Sun” includes photographs, text, and film from his first decade in Sweden.
Throughout his career, Gill has worked with the idea of dialing down photography’s technical mastery in a gradual process of pulling back, giving his subjects the space to breathe. In his first art project as a newly settled resident in Skåne, “Night Procession,” he attached cameras with motion sensors to the surrounding trees, creating a kind of party photo box for nocturnal creatures. In his next project, “The Pillar,” he planted two poles on the edge of a field, equipping one of them with a camera that fired whenever a bird landed on the other. Four years later, the camera had portrayed hundreds of bird species, some mid-takeoff, others in a midday nap.
The work on his most recent project, “Please Notify the Sun,” began when the pandemic halted both time and freedom of movement in 2020. Gill decided to venture inside a sea trout. Using a microscope and camera, he photographed the trout over ten weeks, becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the universe of mountain ranges, volcanoes, caves, and lunar landscapes that revealed themselves the deeper he delved into the fish’s process of decay. He eventually became so ill that he had to interrupt his visual space odyssey and get to hospital.

“I collapsed in the parking lot and thought I had been poisoned by the fish, but now I realize it was probably COVID-19.”

About the artist
Gill was born in Bristol in Great Britain in 1971. His photographs are held in various private and public collections and have also been exhibited at many international galleries and museums including Tate, National Portrait Gallery, and The Victoria and Albert Museum. He has published 27 photobooks through his own publishing house, Nobody Books, many of which have won awards. Several of Gill’s publications are included in the exhibition.
Stephen Gill will be present at the opening and will give an artist talk and guided tour of the exhibition in dialogue with Chris Harrison. Harrison is a photographic artist and educator. He is the Head of Photography at Høyskolen Kristiania.
Opening: 17th of August 2023 at 6 PM
Place: Fotografihuset at Sukkerbiten in Bjørvika
Nylandsveien 28
0150 Oslo
Open 24/7!
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