Palestinian French artist Taysir Batniji is the third recipient of Immersion, a French American Photography Commission, a program launched by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in alliance with Aperture Foundation. In Home Away from Home, Batniji brings together photographs, selections from family archives, drawings, and writings to explore the sense of dislocation and the different ideas of “home” experienced by various members of his family who immigrated to the United States from the Middle East.
The work Batniji has created during visits to Florida and California strives to connect to and understand his “American cousins” through their daily lives, the objects that surround them, and the homes they have made. The resulting photographs and portraits, interviews, and sketches from memory of the family homestead in Gaza question what it means to share a history—even among relative strangers—and what happens to a sense of past and of belonging when opting for new identities and homes. Home Away from Home is a singular and intimate portrait of Batniji’s own familial diaspora.
About the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports men and women seeking to learn, perfect, transmit and celebrate the creative skills that shape our lives today and into the future.
The Foundation operates eight major programmes with a combined focus on skills, creativity and transmission: New Settings for the performing arts, exhibitions and artists’ residencies for the visual arts, Immersion for photography, Manufacto – the Skills Factory and our Skills Academy for the discovery and perfection of artisan trades. H3 is the Foundation’s worldwide programme of support for organisations whose work reflects these central aims. Our Biodiversity programme enacts a core commitment to protect fragile ecosystems for future generations. Created in 2008, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès is directed by Catherine Tsekenis under the presidency of Olivier Fournier, who succeeded Pierre-Alexis Dumas in February 2016.
The Foundation’s diverse activities are governed by a single, over-arching belief: our gestures define us.
About the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès alliance with Aperture Foundation
In 2014, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès launched a program of photographers’ residencies and exchanges, exhibitions, and publications with Aperture Foundation in New York. The program marks the renewed commitment of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès to intervene upstream in the creative process, with support for the production of new photographic work, and a new partnership with a distinguished, internationally acclaimed photography institution.
Aperture exhibitions are funded, in part, with support from the Board of Trustees and Members of Aperture Foundation. Additional public funds are from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
About the Artist
Taysir Batniji (born in Gaza, 1966) trained as a painter at An-Najah National University, Nablus, prior to continuing his studies in France at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges, and the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design Marseille-Méditerranée. His work incorporates drawing, video, photography, and installation, and has been shown widely in Europe and the Middle East, including at the Venice Biennale; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Kunsthalle Wien; and Witte de With, Rotterdam.
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