LONDON.- The Michael Hoppen Gallery
announces Simon Norfolks third exhibition of photographs with the gallery: Time Taken, a poetic tracing of time on the war-torn landscape of Afghanistan.
Between 2013 and 2014 Simon Norfolk visited the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan, an area of the country once famous for its 170 feet tall Buddhas and more so now for their demise at the hands of the Taliban in 2001. Setting up his camera at over a dozen locations over a twelve-month period, Norfolk looked to depict the slow, silent release of the seasons in a year long un-blinking honesty.
A copse of trees, a pair of deserted Soviet tanks, a boarded up town at the foot of the mountains; these anchors of the landscape provide the backdrop as we watch the seasons slip into one another, described by Norfolk as being like the studies in the passing of time.
The cyclical nature of the images speaks of the constant presence of war in this country and the perseverance and hope as the land continues to be ploughed and planted. As the artist himself said: The main creation of Afghan culture is the landscape itself. It is all around, but one has to stop, sit quietly and take Time, to see it at work.
"The winter snow marches up to the summer peaks and then slowly returns, like the gentlest of waves lapping on a tree is full of sap it is heavy and it leans; in the autumn it is lighter and it ebbs." -Simon Norfolk
Simon Norfolk (born in Lagos, Nigeria, 1963) completed his education at Oxford and Bristol Universities in the UK. His work has been widely recognised: he won the Discovery Prize at Les Rencontres dArles in 2005, the Infinity Prize from The International Center of Photography in 2004 and the European Publishing Award in 2002. In 2003 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Prize (now known as the Deutsche Bürse Prize) and in 2013 he won the Prix Pictet Commission. His work has been shown internationally and is held in many major collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, SF MOMA, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. In 2011 the Tate Modern in London held a solo exhibition of his Burke+Norfolk series. In 2014 he was included in Constructing Worlds at the Barbican and Conflict, Time, Photography at the Tate Modern.