Diana Matar

Diana Matar (born, California) is an artist working with photography, testimony, and archive. Often spending years on a theme, she attempts to capture the invisible traces of human history. Specifically she is concerned with power and violence and the question of what role aesthetics might play in their depiction. Her photographs are conscious of the past and are the result of a rigorous enquiry into the possibility that a contemporary image might contain memory. Time is an integral element in the making of her work, both in the sense that her photographs are often taken at night, where film is subjected to long exposure times, but also in the sense that her work arises from a cultivated patience that is attentive to the resonance of a particular place.
Her recent colour landscapes, Still Far Away, focus on post revolutionary Libya and the silent resonance of its dictatorial and colonial past. The earlier series, Disappearance, is a work that uses the enforced disappearance of the artist's father-in-law as an anchor. Jaballa Matar, a Libyan political dissident, was kidnapped in 1990 and not seen by his family again. For six years, Diana Matar scanned through places-first in Egypt and Italy, where anti-Gaddafi dissidents were active and later in Libya after the revolution - in search of traces of her father-in-law. Though her work is about Jaballa Matar, he is nowhere to be found in any of the photographs.
A major installation of her work Evidence was shown in the exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern travelling to Museum Folkswang Essen; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2014 - 2015. Her first monograph, Evidence, was published in November 2014 by Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam and chosen by New York Times Photography critic as best book of the year.
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