Blow Up, Ori Gersht's photography

Ori Gersht Blow Up

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 2, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 8, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 1, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 4, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 3, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 5, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 9, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 7, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 12, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 6, 2009.

Time After Time: Blow Up No. 15, 2009.

Artist's Statement

As in Time After Time, the photographs in Blow Up depict the detonation of floral arrangements. Gersht’s camera has managed not only to document but also to memorialize the event. The works are an overt reminder of the impermanence of innocence and beauty, since even the most sublime of scenarios can be surreptitiously corrupted by seemingly baseless acts of destruction and ruin.

In this instance, the images reference the natures mortes (still lifes) of the nineteenth-century painter Henri Fantin-Latour. The flowers are red, white, and blue, a nod to the painter’s French origins. Comprising sixteen different images, ranging from the first moments of the initial blast all the way to the dust settling in the aftermath of the explosion, Blow Up is a partially veiled view of beauty being violated. The scale of these works is relatively large (many prints are nearly eight feet high), affording close-up examination of the delicate folds of the flower petals, the tensile strength of the stems as they bend and crack, and the virginal freshness of the blossoms. Such scale lends itself to comparisons with painting, but it also presents a moment in flux: the subject is simultaneously being ripped apart and struggling to remain pulled together.

About the photographer


1967, Tel Aviv, Israel



Based in

London, United Kingdom

About Ori Gersht

Ori Gersht has lived and worked in London for the last 24 years. He is a professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts.


  • BA (Hons) in Photography, Film and Video, University of Westminster, London, UK, 1989-92
  • MA in Photography, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 1993-95

Solo Exhibitions including:

  • History Repeats, a Survey exhibition at the MFA Boston, USA 2012
  • This Storm Is What We Call Progress, Imperial War Museum, London, 2012
  • Lost in Time, Santa Barbara Museum, Barbara Museum, CA, USA, 2011
  • Selected films, Hirshhrorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, USA, 2008
  • The Forest & Blow Up, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, USA, 2007
  • The Clearing, Photographers Gallery, London 2005-2006
  • Afterglow, Art Now at Tate Britain 2002
  • Afterglow, a survey exhibition at Tel Aviv Museum 2002

Group Exhibitions including:

  • Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present, National Gallery, London, 2012
  • Eating Art, La Pedrera/Casa Milà, Barcelona, Spain, 2011
  • Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA, 2010
    In Focus: Still Life, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2010
    Mutation II, Europian Month of Photography, Masion Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, Kulturprojekte, Berlin, Fotofo, Bratislave, Vladmir Und Estragon, Vienna, Association Café Crème, Luxenbourg, Musee de la Photographie, Moscou, Zone Attive, Rome, 2008
  • In Focus: Living History, Tate Modern, London, 2008
  • Single Shot, Tate Britain, 2007
  • Twilight The Magic Hour, Victoria & Albert Museum, 2007

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA; Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles, USA; Jewish Museum, New York, USA; Hyde Park Center Collection, University of Chicago, USA; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington, USA; The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, USA; 21c Museum, Kentucky USA; Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee, USA; Tate Gallery, London, UK; Victoria & Albert Museum, UK; Royal Armouries, Leeds, UK; Imperial War Museum, London, UK; UK Government Art Collection, UK; British Council, UK; Tel Aviv Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel..

Awards & Residencies:

  • 2012 Artis Grant Recipient
  • 2010 Received an award at the Beijing International Art Biennale 2010, BIAB10
  • 2004 First Prize winner, Onfuri International, Tirana, Albania.


  • History Repeat, MFA Boston Publications, 2012
  • Artist Book, Photoworks publications 2012
  • The Clearing, Film and Video Umbrella Publications 2005
  • Afterglow, August Publications 2002