Born Gaza, Palestine, 1966. Lives Paris, France, and Gaza
From the series 'Watchtowers, West Bank/Palestine'
Museum nos. E.951-2010, E.952-2010, E.955-2010 & E.960-2010
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum
Using a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video, Taysir Batniji makes work that reflects his own experience of travelling between the European art world and Palestine.
The series 'Watchtowers' is inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, the German photographers known for their meticulous documentation of industrial architecture. After seeing an exhibition of the Bechers’ work in Paris, Batniji decided to document in a similar way Israeli watchtowers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. However, as a Gaza-born Palestinian, Batniji was not able to travel to the West Bank to make the pictures. He delegated the task to a local photographer. The photographs superficially resemble the Bechers’ work, but the limitations surrounding their making mean that they lack the same precision and clarity.