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artists' books collection

aleppo, by gerhild ebel

Gerhild Ebel, Aleppo.  Halle ; Berlin: xlex_press, 2016.

No. 6 of an edition of 12, signed by the artist.

On one side of this accordion book, laserprint photographs on transparencies show the deserted streets and bombed-out buildings of the city of Aleppo in ruins.  On the other side, parts of the city map have been removed from the white pages as emptiness; the cutouts through which the photographs can be seen suggest blocks of buildings and the white spaces suggest streets, parks, plazas, shopping areas – gathering places that evoke an order of life that is no longer there.

To read the book from the photograph side is to have a visceral sense of the violence and destruction of war.   To read it from the cutout side is to have a more abstract but equally visceral realization of loss. Together they meld into something complex, compelling, and devastating.