Anton Kusters was born in Belgium in 1974, where he studied political science and photography. He is now an internationally successful photographer whose work is based in his home country and Japan. On show in the north tower of the Citadel Kusters’ is Blue Skies Project, which incorporates a work by the sound artist Ruben Samama.
The number of concentration camps in Nazi Germany was 1,078, the first of which was established in 1933. They were closed at the end of the war in 1945. Between 6 March 2012 and 13 September 2017, Kusters travelled to every place where there was a camp, to photograph the sky above it. The photographs were taken with a direct image camera and developed immediately. At every place, Kusters took three polaroid photographs, always with the same exposure. Stamped on each image are the coordinates of the site and the estimated number of victims at that particular camp.
Several of these camps have vanished without trace. Not even the residents of the area know that they once existed. Kusters finds his way there by GPS, and a weather app shows when the sky is blue.
The sound work by the musician Ruben Samama represents the timeline of the concentration camps. They were active for 4,432 days and that is how long the work lasts. There is a note for every victim.
Kusters visualizes a trauma that is slowly slipping further and further away from us in time. His 1,078 skies, along with Samama’s sound work, honour the victims of the Holocaust. They arouse feelings of remembrance and loss when time has passed. These polaroid images will fade too, disappearing in the past. The Blue Skies Project emphasizes that we live under the same sky. A sky that silently witnesses the horrors of the world.