This unusual photo essay by Claudio Hils documents the persistent, omnipresent traces of violence as revealed in public and private archives in Belfast. The experience of conflict is deeply embedded in Belfast’s collective consciousness. Evidence of conflict is contained within information archives throughout the city, where photography is employed as a means of interpreting, objectively, the effects of violence. Medical X ray technology registers the body as site of trauma, police forensic photography particularises scenes of crime, surveillance cameras militarises civic space. These archives are extensive, systematically organised, and primarily contingent on use. In contrast private and semi-public stores of conflict-related memorabilia are presently being formulated into official public archives. As collections of objects (uniforms, propaganda) become redundant, they are recontextualised and transformed into historical artefacts. Archive_Belfast observes a history under construction.
About the Artist
Claudio Hils was born in 1962 in Mengen, Germany. From 1985 to 1993, he studied visual communication at the Universität-GHS (Polytechnic University) in Essen, Germany. Since then he has worked for renowned national and international magazines. Besides his work as a journalist, Hils has realised his own independent, long-term photographic projects. He has both written and edited a number of books since 1997.1
About the Publisher
Hatje Cantz publisher are committed to this motto more than ever – with our accustomed high quality we remain faithful to the standards set by Gerd Hatje: premium books that are produced in close collaboration with artists and curators. Our profile has always been shaped by tradition and avant-garde from all over the world. We present our program in a bilingual preview catalogue, in which masters of the twentieth century such as Paul Klee, Paul Gauguin, and Eva Hesse meet contemporary artists such as Michael Borremans, Gerhard Richter, and Filip Dujardin. 2