Photo exhibition

Kathryn Cook, Memory of Trees

Kathryn Cook
© Kathryn Cook

From the 15th of February until the 18th of May 2014 at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce
28, Quai des Messageries – Chalon-sur-Saône (FRANCE). Every day except Tuesdays and holidays 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. 02:00 to 5:45 p.m.
More info : Musée Nièpce

How to approach mass murder without falling into “compassionate” or strictly documentary forms? The Armenian genocide, unlike the Shoah, was revealed from the start through photography.
Denounced in 1915 as a “crime against humanity and civilisation”, the facts were well known and covered by the international press.
A century later, Kathryn Cook takes on the Armenian question, approaching it through poetry and allusions. She handles the metaphor effectively, purposely getting lost between the past and the present in an in-distinction that blends history and the intimate. 

The photography of Kathryn Cook doesn’t need to provide testimony. Who knows why this American photographer, with her roots in the news media, wanted to grapple with the work of bereavement! By examining the consequences of the events of 1915, she attempts the impossible task of representing invisible suffering. She tries to develop a form for grief, to give shape to bygone, unexpressed pain. In the style of a road movie – or is it a type pf rite of passage? – the photographer is freed from the temptation of objectivity as she explores the sites of the Armenian people’s dramatic peregrination. More apprentice than investigator, dhe manifests a sense of impotence when it comes to providing an ‘objective’ account of the traces of the genocide. This is where documentary photography, and its mystical capacity to create a buzz, is called into doubt and reveals itself to be inadequate in the face of silence, amnesia, and, to say it all, the abyss. In search for the original manner of treating the Great Crime, Memory of trees affirms that rationality must be nourished by poetry.

the authorVéronique
Véronique Poczobut, photo editor of PRIVATE magazine.