BURKE AND NORFOLK
In October 2010, Simon Norfolk began a series of new photographs in Afghanistan, which takes its cue from the work of nineteenth-century British photographer John Burke. Norfolk’s photographs re-imagine or respond to Burke’s Afghan war scenes in the context of the contemporary conflict. Conceived as a collaborative project with Burke across time, this new body of work is presented alongside Burke’s original portfolios. The exhibition takes place in conjunction with an earlier complementary exhibition in March 2011 at the Queen’s Palace in the Baghe Babur garden in Kabul, supported by The World Collections Programme and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which resulted from a series of workshops with Afghan photographers, featuring work by Fardin Waezi and Burke alongside Norfolk’s own work.
SIMON NORFOLK is a landscape photographer whose work over the last ten years has been themed around a probing and stretching of the meaning of the word ʻbattlefieldʼ in all its forms. As such, he has photographed in some of the world’s worst war zones and refugee crises, but is equally at home photographing supercomputers used to design military systems or test launches of nuclear missiles.
His work has been widely recognised: he has won Le Prix Dialogue at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2005; The Infinity Prize from The International Center of Photography in 2004; the Foreign Press Club of America Award in 2003: and he was winner of the European Publishing Award, 2002. In 2003 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Prize now known as the Deutsche Böurse Prize.
He has produced three monographs of his work including ʼAfghanistan:chronotopiaʼ (2002) which was published in 5 languages; ‘For Most Of It I Have No Words’ (1998) about the landscapes of genocide and ‘Bleed’ (2005) about the war in Bosnia.
He has work held in major collections such as The Museum of Fine Art, Houston and Deutsche Böurse Art Collection in Frankfurt and the collection of the British Council.
In 2011 he published ‘Burke + Norfolk;’ a re-discovery and re- photography of the photographer John Burke’s pictures from Afghanistan in the 1880s. It was shown at Tate Modern in London making him one of the few photographers to ever be given a solo show there.
He has been described by one critic as ‘the leading documentary photographer of our time. Passionate, intelligent and political; there is no one working in photography that has his vision or his clarity’