Home Away from Home. Taysir Batniji. March 15–May 10, 2018 Aperture Gallery. 547 West 27th Street. New York, Usa.

The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and the Aperture Foundation present a solo exhibition by Taysir Batniji (b. 1966 in Gaza, lives in France) the third recipient of Immersion, a French-American Photography Commission, their joint programme in support of contemporary photography.

Taysir Batniji’s solo exhibition at the Aperture Gallery, New York, brings together a set of photographs taken during his residency in the United-States, as well as selections from family archives, videos, drawings, and writings to explore the sense of dislocation and the different ideas of “home” experienced by various members of his family who immigrated to the United States from Gaza since the 1960s.

Between January and July 2017, Taysir Batniji travelled to Florida and California to meet cousins he barely knew, as a child, and their loved ones. Welcomed into the homes of these ‘familiar strangers’ who had been living in the United States for several decades, the Franco-Palestinian photographer Batniji became an attentive observer of their daily lives. A singular and intimate portrait of his own familial diaspora, this project also raises universal questions of exile and the construction of identity.

On this occasion, an artist book printed in a limited edition of 1,500 copies devoted to the project developed by Taysir Batniji for the Immersion programme is being published by Aperture, for the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. Sam Stourdzé, Director of the Rencontres d’Arles (France), was the guest mentor for this third edition of the award, open to a French-based photographer seeking to create a new body of work in the US.

Immersion, a French-American Photography Commission supports contemporary photography in France and the United States through the creation, display and publication of new works. Together, the Aperture Foundation and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès support an annual artist’s residency culminating in an exhibition at the Aperture Gallery, New York, and the publication of an accompanying book. In alternate years, the programme is open to a France-based photographer mentored by a French professional, seeking to create new work in the United States, and to an English-speaking photographer seeking to create new work in France.

The series “Home Away from Home” will be presented in the framework of a personal exhibit of Taysir Batniji at the Rencontres d’Arles, from July 2 to September 23, 2018. This exhibit will address a specific theme of the latest edition of the Rencontres.