The Blue Skies Project

(In progress, 2012- )

 

The Blue Skies Project is an installation of 1078 mounted peel-apart polaroids of blue skies, accompanied by a 13-year real time tracking audio piece created by Ruben Samama.

The images were made from 2012 to 2017 at the last known locations of every former Nazi Germany concentration camp.

One thousand and seventy-eight official concentration camps existed throughout Europe during the Nazi rule in Germany from 1933 to 1945.

 
 Installation view – “One Thousand and Seventy-eight Blue Skies” – Gextophoto 2018 (ES)

Installation view – “One Thousand and Seventy-eight Blue Skies” – Gextophoto 2018 (ES)

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Research sources

  1. Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945, published by Indiana University Press & United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – USHMM.org

  2. Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, Wolfgang Benz/Barbara Distel, published by C.H.Beck (9 volumes)

  3. Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz, Sechste Verordnung zur Durchführung des Bundesentschädigungsgesetzes (6. DV-BEG); Anlage zu § 1 Verzeichnis der Konzentrationslager und ihrer Außenkommandos gemäß § 42 Abs. 2 B

 

Literature

  • Ulrich Baer, Spectral Evidence - the photography of Trauma, The MIT Press (2012)

  • Otto Dov Kulka, Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death, Allen Lane (2013)

  • Eva Hoffman, After Such Knowledge, Vintage (2005)

  • Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, Penguin (2003)

  • Mark Godfrey, Abstraction and the Holocaust, Yale University Press (2007)

 
 Alderney Kanalinsel (SSBBI) 0000700 (2017)

Alderney Kanalinsel (SSBBI) 0000700 (2017)

 
 

Quote / essay

"Sometimes, as in Kusters’ Blue Skies, the equation becomes more complex, fraught by a tangle of historical, aesthetic, moral and personal questions. The event that he set out to explore and capture is already a fading memory. The places, even if they can be accurately located, refuse to be contained, and cannot be encompassed by a single point of view. The artist has chosen to witness at the spot the event’s vanishing and most intangible residue in the form of reflected light."

 

- Martin Barnes, Senior Curator, Photographs, Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Read the full essay on 1000 Words Magazine.

 

Current status

First journey: March 6, 2012
Final journey: September 13, 2017
Total visited locations: 1078 of 1078
Total distance driven: approx 177.828km

 

Edition

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Support

The Blue Skies Project is being produced by Monica Allende and Screen (screenprojects.org).

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Important preliminary research for The Blue Skies Project was supported by STROOM Limburg (Belgium).