Photographs by Johanna Diehl.
Fotohof Editions, 2011. 65 pp., 48 color illustrations, 11x13¾".
Long one of the world’s most tragic perpetual war zones, the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided into two sections in the 1970s: the Turkish-occupied north is Moslem, and the Greek south is Greek Orthodox. In these evocative color photographs, Berlin-based artist Johanna Diehl shows us the surreal results of the partition that disrupted a couple of thousand years of human history as Cypriots rushed to move to the “right” side of the dividing line. Diehl’s photos of destroyed churches and mosques, left to deteriorate, floors of churches covered in carpets for Moslem prayer, mosques defaced by graffiti, have a rigor that at first recalls the Becher School. Her precise eye for minimal formal details reveals the collective fate of the people she never shows. With an essay by the German art historian Miriam Paeslack, who lectures at the University of Buffalo, NY.