Tim Hetherington

April 12 – May 19, 2012

 Tim Hetherington

Yossi Milo Gallery will present an exhibition of photographs and video by Tim Hetherington (1970-2011). The exhibition will consist of photographs taken in Liberia and Afghanistan, as well as two films by the Oscar-nominated filmmaker. The exhibition will open on Thursday, April 12, and will be on view through Saturday, May 19, with an opening reception on Thursday, April 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. This will be the first major exhibition of Tim Hetherington’s work in the United States.

Taken mostly from the center of political and social conflicts in West Africa and the Middle East, Tim Hetherington’s work focused on the experience of war from the perspective of the individual. Through his photographs, writing and films, Tim Hetherington gave us new ways to look at and think about human suffering. Tim was tragically killed on April 20, 2011, while photographing and filming in Libya.

The East gallery will feature photographs from the series Long Story Bit By Bit: Liberia Retold, which Hetherington photographed during the Liberian civil war. Hetherington was fascinated with the dynamics of power, from the raw power wielded by the young men of rebel groups, to the corrupt power of the transitional government, to the possibilities of a democratically elected president. Hetherington captured portraits of people struggling to survive their new realities on both sides of the war, showing interpersonal human stories that are rarely communicated and easily overlooked among the more prevalent war headlines. His four years in Liberia resulted in the film Liberia: An Uncivil War, as well as a book of this series of photographs. In the author’s note, Tim wrote:

“I hope that (the book’s) value lies in demonstrating how history is not the product of random chaos but is defined through the actions of individuals - hence the emphasis I have placed on naming people. With witnessing comes responsibility.”

Tim’s work in Liberia earned him an execution order from that county’s then-President Charles Taylor, whose verdict for war crimes is set to be announced in April 2012.

The West gallery will feature photographs from the series Infidel which are intimate portraits of American troops stationed in eastern Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Describing the photographs in Infidel, Hetherington said:

“It’s all about the men. I didn’t want to pretend this was a book about the war in Afghanistan. It was a conscious decision. My book comments on the experience of the soldier. It’s brotherhood. The flow of pictures is to introduce you to the Korengal Valley first and then to see the men in an intimate way…To get to know them and how they lived. Then you see them in combat in the traditional combat style. Finally, you see them as young men, sleeping.”

Hetherington took these photographs over one year in 2007-2008. His year in Afghanistan also became the basis for the documentary Restrepo, which he co-directed with Sebastian Junger. The film was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011 for Best Documentary Feature.

The viewing room will alternate two films. Diary is a short film that collages original footage taken by Hetherington throughout his career. Hetherington described Diary, which he directed in 2010, as “a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It's a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.” The film’s editing and sound design are by Magali Charrier. Diary will be screened in the gallery’s viewing room daily, along with Hetherington’s 4-minute 2009 film Sleeping Soldiers.

Born in 1970 in Liverpool, Tim Hetherington graduated from Oxford University and later studied at Cardiff University. A contributing photographer at Vanity Fair, Tim received numerous awards including a Fellowship from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (2000-2004), a Hasselblad Foundation grant (2002), the 2007 World Press Photo of the Year, the Rory Peck Award for Features (2008), an Alfred I. duPont Award (2009), and the Leadership in Entertainment Award by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for his work on Restrepo (2011). His images posthumously became part of the Magnum Photo Archive. After his untimely death, the largest town square in Ajdabiya, Libya was renamed Tim Hetherington Square by anti-Qaddafi rebels.