Dr ROBERT ORGAN

 

OVER THE WALL 2011

 

 

 

 

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OVER THE WALL 2011

Over the Wall gallery

 

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“Over the Wall” is a series of documentary photographs taken during 2010 and offers glimpses of life in three places well known for their walls:

(i)The walled city of Jerusalem in Israel which incorporates the famous Western (Wailing) Wall and the politically sensitive walled barriers between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

(ii) Belfast with its physical barriers between the sectarian communities, punctuated with the political murals in the Falls Road
and Shankhill Road.

(iii) Berlin with the remnants of the Berlin Wall, the former symbol of the Cold War. 

In addition to the obvious similarity that the walls represent important symbols in each place, the photographs show that they are linked in other ways – the murals in Belfast refer to the political situation between Israel and Palestine, while the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin remembers the plight of the Jewish people.  They also tell another story that every day life must go on despite religious or political difficulties. 

The term “Over the Wall” offers two connotations and these are explored.  The first suggests the process of finding out what is going on the other side of the wall – is it the same or is it different?  It becomes apparent that the similarities are indeed greater than any differences – religious and political expression, development of the arts as well as trials of everyday life are commonplace in all of the places.

The second connotation suggests the process of recovery or development following the traumatic events which have often taken place at the walls.  The rate of recovery seems to be at different in the three places photographed.  The walls between Jerusalem and the West Bank are still being built so events are recent.  However, in Belfast and Berlin, many events are historical, allowing time for progress.  Ironically, despite their chequered past, the walls in the latter places have become tourist attractions with the inevitable advance of commercialization and kitsch.

All of the photographs were taken with digital cameras and printed digitally.  There are clear references to previous work by the photographer, particularly the capture of graffiti seen in the “Ishikawa” project “Composition” section and the juxtaposition of perspective used in the “Surreal” project. 

 

Click here or on ‘Over the Wall gallery’ on the left hand side of the screen to see the photographs.