new-york

Fazal Sheikh, Ether, 2008–11, ink-jet print on handmade cotton paper, 5 1/4 x 7 7/8".

Fazal Sheikh

Pace/MacGill Gallery

Fazal Sheikh, Ether, 2008–11, ink-jet print on handmade cotton paper, 5 1/4 x 7 7/8".

The photographer Fazal Sheikh’s concern with international issues of human rights has led him not only to many pictures of people living under conditions of displacement and duress but to a meditation on how this kind of image may most ethically be conceived. Through much of the 1990s, for example, Sheikh worked in African refugee camps, the products of conflicts in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and other countries. Whereas another photographer might have documented the difficulties of the camps’ conditions or hunted for visible traces of traumas accumulated on the way there, Sheikh most often chose to make portraits, showing people as subjects in the philosophical sense as much as the photographic one: men, women, and children who are the centers of their own worlds and who present themselves with dignified gravity. They usually face us directly, looking straight into the

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