Image Discription: Man with balloons in Afganistan Oct, 2001
Simon Norfolk
Image Information: 40" x 50" iris print $2,000
Story about the image: Former teahouse in a park next to the Afghan Exhibition of Economic and Social Achievement in the Shah Shahid district of Kabul. Balloons were illegal under the Taliban, but now balloon-sellers are common on the streets of Kabul providing cheap treats for the children. Cover of his recently published book, available at the University Book Store, titled "Afghanistan, Chronotopia" Please contact Dewi at ( for book details.

Image Discription: Hand on a head taken in Jerusalem 1994
Artist: Didier Ben Loulou
Image Information: 8" x 8" color carbo print $900
Image Title:
"I'll be Magnified and Sanctified"

Image Discription: Dark explosion
Artist: Gabriel Valansi
Image Information: 16 x 20 silver geletin print $900
Image Title: Zeitgeist

Can We Talk Now?

Featuring work by:
Simon Norfolk, Didier Ben Loulou, and Gabriel Valansi

In a timely response to world events, this provocative exhibit uses photography to question the validity of war and aggressive military action as the means of solving conflict. Featuring internationally acclaimed artists who work in Afghanistan, Argentina, Israel and Palestine, the exhibit offers compelling yet disconcerting images of the effects of war.


Beginning March 6th thru April 9th Benham Gallery will be hosting an open forum. These public discussions will be moderated by local acivists encouraging dialog and creating alternative solutions.

Seattle Post Intelligencer Article

"These photographs aren't meant to shock, but to lead the viewer to ask, 'Is war the only way to deal with conflict? Can't we create other options?' In other words, 'can we talk now?,'" explains gallery director Marita Holdaway. "I think it's very important to remind people of the value of creative dialogue when talking about our differences, especially in times like these."

Winner of this year's esteemed European Publisher's Prize for his photographs of war-ravaged Afghanistan, Simon Norfolk's images appear at first glance to be seductively inviting landscapes; but upon closer viewing, the devastation of two decades of war become apparent. Formally strong and often shot in the sweet glow of pre-dawn and -dusk, the photographs reveal the historically rich country populated with abandoned tanks and mortar rounds, bomb-scarred buildings and historic sites. He remarks, "Walking a Kabul street can be like walking through a Museum of the Archeology of War...these landscapes are how my childish imagination pictured the Apocalypse of Armageddon; utter destruction on a massive, Babylonian scale bathed in the crystal light of a desert sunrise."

Didier Ben Loulou's color photographs of life in Jerusalem's Old City convey the physical and emotional strain of living with the possibility of violence on a daily basis. Heavy shadows obscure much of his frames, while the subjects are seared with sunlight to become legible. He communicates the wearing effects of violence and terror upon the body and the face, the city's walls, and the land around it.

Argentinean photographer Gabriel Valansi creates arresting, iconic images of war—battleships at sea, bomber planes in flight, armed soldiers running in battle. He digitally shoots the images from war documentaries which he found on videotape. This process, in the artist’s words, "wastes away the images. Like memories, they lose definition. When they are exposed to the public they become a single substance, they acquire a common texture. I am interested in rescuing that texture which is the one that will get ultimately fixed in our visual memory."



Public Viewing: Tuesday - Saturday 11 - 6pm | First Thursdays 6 - 8 pm.
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