NEW YORK, NY.- An almanac to the world of Whatever You Say, Say Nothing by Gilles Peress, also published by Steidl this season, Annals of the North combines essays, stories, photographs, documents and testimonies to open up for the reader the complicated and contradictory storylines that emerged from the conflict in the North of Ireland.
Weighed down by 800 years of colonization but only the size of Connecticut (with half its population), the North provides a remarkably intimate stage set. Interweaving text and image, Annals of the North examines the multifaceted struggle between Irish Republicans / Nationalists, Protestant Unionists / Loyalists, and the imperial British to explore broader themes of empire, retribution, and betrayal, as well as the tense dialectic between the ordinary demands of everyday life and intense, periodic explosions of violence.
Wide-ranging yet deeply personal and political, alternately dense and humorous, legal and literary, Annals of the North is an almanac, not an academic history of the North of Ireland, offering a multiplicity of entry points into the North, and, by extension, into the geopolitics of the twentieth century and their impact on the people trapped in the gears of the machine.
Born in 1946 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Gilles Peress moved to New York in 1974 and began a series of interrelated projects that push the formal and conceptual possibilities of photography to interrogate the structure of history and the nature of intolerance. The resulting cycle of interlocking narratives in books and on walls encompasses eight monographs and has been widely exhibited (at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, New York, and Centre Pompidou in Paris, among others) and collected.
Chris Klatell is a writer and lawyer based in New York. He writes frequently about photography, including recent collaborations with Donovan Wylie (A Good and Spacious Land, 2017), Jim Goldberg (Candy, 2017), Gilles Peress (Annals of the North, 2019) and his forthcoming book with Zoe Strauss (Commencement).