Collection of Auschwitz photos to be displayed at Bicknell Center

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Jun. 6—PITTSBURG, Kan. — An exhibit of 14 photos taken at Auschwitz will be displayed through June 30 at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts at Pittsburg State University, 1711 S. Homer.

The collection of photos, titled "Auschwitz KZI-II," was taken by Orjan Henriksson, a professional photographer, lecturer and teacher at Mullsjö Folkhögskola, which is similar to an American community college in Sweden; the University of Jönköping in Jönköping, Sweden; and Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.

"I was exhorted more than 40 years ago by my father to learn about the time before the Second World War," Henriksson said in his artist's statement. "This is to recognize the signs of the time, if they emerge again."

The exhibit originally opened at Liljevalchs Konsthall in Stockholm, and then toured to several museum and art galleries in Sweden before coming to MSSU's Spiva Gallery. It was awarded the Micael Bindefeld Foundation Prize, handed out by a member of the Swedish royal family.

Henriksson said the black and white photos depict a brutal inhumanity that became the theme of his work. He took them during a week spent at Auschwitz camps 1 and 2, built in what was then Nazi-occupied Poland.

"My photographs want to portray the emptiness after all those humiliated, tortured and murdered in Auschwitz," he said. "These are not ostentatious images that scream out loud. Instead, I let the walls and surfaces depict the total silence that only death leaves behind."

Admission is free and open to the public. General hours of operation for the Bicknell Center are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon Fridays.