A photographer from Sweden opens an exhibit focusing on a different perspective of Auschwitz. The exhibit is inside the Spiva Art Gallery at Missouri Southern University. Today, we talked with this photographer via Skype about what he hopes Four Staters gather from this exhibit.
This unique perspective focuses on where evil once thrived, and can still be felt.
"I had one response from one of the museums here in Sweden. They wouldn't take this show on, because it was too strong. They wouldn't disturb their audience," says photographer Orjan Henriksson.
None of Henriksson's photographs of Auschwitz include signs.
"To step into the situation the picture shows," says Henriksson.
A simple building.
"Gas chamber," says Henriksson.
Inconspicuous iron doors.
"Leading to a laboratory where they made medical experiments on young women," says Henriksson.
Everyone may know about evil. But forms of evil can be forgotten.
"Typically, photographs of concentration camps throughout Europe are more documentary," says Christine Bentley, associate professor of Art at Missouri Southern State University. "And his work, on purposely, focused on turning these spaces and these moments into works of art. So they are meditations."
A member of the Swedish Royal Family has given Henriksson an award for this photographic work. Henriksson remembers talking with an Auschwitz survivor at an exhibit in Nashville, after she carefully, quietly looked over his pictures. Remember, no signs.
"She said, but there is nothing in your pictures. And I was kind of depressed. But then, she added, but they tell everything," says Henriksson.
A chance to look over a different, unique perspective of where evil once thrived, and can still be felt. Henriksson hopes this opportunity gives one more important reminder to never let this type of evil happen again.
The exhibit runs through Friday, March 17th. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. An "Artist Talk" is set for 2 to 3 p.m. Monday Feb. 27th in Room 106 of Webster Hall.
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