On July 1, 2011, in the neighborhood of Karam Shami in Homs, Syria, a young man stands on the rooftop of a building. He uses his cell phone to document gunfire in the streets below as his camera suddenly catches sight of a gunman on an adjacent balcony. For a brief instant, the cameraman and the gunman directly face each other. A single shot is fired. The camera falls, and with the cameraman's death, image and reality collapse into one.
In the course of recent political events, anonymous cameramen and -women have emerged as powerful new figures in the politics of representation and mediation, documenting conditions that surround them while simultaneously carrying the biggest stakes in the telling of their story. They create images that do not necessarily show violence, but are visible manifestations of it; images that do not seek to create viewers, but witnesses.
Death of a Cameraman revolves around a powerful moment in which the making of an image becomes a matter of life and death, with the camera functioning both as an extension of the eye and as a weapon. The exhibition explores the power of images to influence reality and alter the course of events. Are cameras weapons? Can they penetrate reality? What's at stake in the making of images? What does it mean to bear witness through them?