Bart Michiels: The Course of History
Text by Sonja Fessel, Simon Schama.
At first glance, the photographs of Bart Michiels, a Belgian photographer who lives and works in New York, seem to depict simple vast landscapes and details of nature. But as soon as we read their titles, our perception of the images change and we instinctively begin to search for traces of the sad history tied to these places. For his series The Course of History, Michiels sought out Europe's most infamous and bloody battlefields, capturing them as they are today, after decades, or sometimes even centuries--fields, hills and beaches, where time seems to have cancelled every testament of the past, and with them, a part of our collective memory. Taking advantage of the evocative power of words and images, the photographer invites us to reflect on the sense and consequences of war.