body wrapped in a large cloth

%C2%A9 Gilles Peress%2FMagnum Photos

Rwanda, 1994

Not on Viewexpand_more

“I came out of Rwanda thinking, well, maybe God is 50/50 also, 50 percent good and 50 percent evil. And then comes the question, what is the margin between good and evil and how do you shift from one to the other'”

-- Gilles Peress, April 10, 1997

Gilles Peress is a French photojournalist who is renowned for his sensitive and humanizing documentation of wartime. These two photographs were taken in 1994 during the Rwandan genocide. One photograph features a solitary shrouded body, lying on bare, cracked earth. There is a sculptural beauty to the shrouded body that is immediately negated by the skeletal form visible under the folds. The barren landscape and lack of ceremony surrounding the shrouded body alludes to latent violence, and an unspoken, elegiac history.

In the second photograph, Peress has captured a tattered photo album. Like the watch in the Shomei Tomatsu photograph, Peress has isolated the object of the photo album from any context. The focus is on the album itself, and the lost or abandoned memories that it contains. Through the photograph transforms the album into a symbol of death; a memento mori.

Artist Life
born 1946
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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body wrapped in a large cloth

© Gilles Peress/Magnum Photos

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