Sophie Ristelhueber. Eleven Blowups (2006)

With this work, Sophie Ristelhueber drew her inspiration from the crater formed by the explosion that killed Rafiq Hariri in Beirut in 2005. In order to accomplish what she had in mind, she went through three years of raw material taken in Iraq by local correspondents at the Reuters London office. And then, using computer techniques and details of images from her own Middle East work, she created a set of new pieces.

These images reflect Ristelhueber’s vision of the recent history of the Middle East as a “history of chaos”, which has haunted her since she first worked in Beirut in 1982.

The works are installed in the gallery as a series of large-scale prints acting as barriers within the space—each one concealing as well as leading to the next. With Eleven Blowups, “everything is true and false at the same time”, and the authenticity of the works is not measured by how they are made, but by what they reveal about our ongoing cycle of war and destruction.


Sophie Ristelhueber works primarily with photography, but uses her images also in posters, photographic installations, films, author’s books, etc. Her work has been exhibited in numerous international institutions, including MoMA (New York, US), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, US), Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, US), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Canada), Tate Modern (London, Great Britain), ImperialWar Museum (London, Great Britain).