'This Place': International photographers present their impressions of Israel
Twelve photographers were asked to participate in a long-term project, with the aim of exploring Israel from a personal view via their camera. Their photographs and videos are now on show at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
Wendy Ewald, At Home (photo by Amal, 2013)
US photographer Wendy Ewald has been working with children, teenagers and adults for over four decades. She takes her time to talk to her protagonists and listens to their dreams and stories. Then she hands them the camera so that they can take their own pictures. Later, she assembles these photos into artistic tableaux.
Frederic Brenner, Palace Hotel (2009)
A large construction site in the middle of Jerusalem: The former Palace Hotel — formerly the luxury hotel of the Arab-Lebanese world — was completely gutted by an investor. Photographer Frederic Brenner walked by coincidentally and recorded the construction work with his camera. All that remained was the facade shell. Today, it adorns the famous Jewish five-star hotel Waldorf-Astoria.
Nick Waplington, untitled
British photographer Nick Waplington represented his country at the 2011 Venice Biennale. For the project "This Place," he dealt intensively with Israeli settlers, who are building new houses and apartments and living in communities of strict faith in the occupied territories. "I wanted to know why these people are there and why they stretch beyond stereotypes."
Martin Kollar, Field Trip/Israel (2009-2011)
Kollar spent the year 2010 in Israel and traveled extensively there. With his camera, he explored how and where the ongoing, at times subtle presence of war and conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is reflected in everyday life. He often found strange arrangements and unusual still lifes of sieges and barriers. It is up to the viewer's imagination to fill them with meaning.
Gilles Peress, Contact Sheet/Palestinian Jerusalem (2013)
Gilles Peress, born in France in 1946, concentrated his photographic work on East Jerusalem. At different times of the day, he roamed the Silwan settlement, which is mainly inhabited by Palestinians. He took pictures of checkpoints, fences, walls, border landscapes and shopping streets and arranged the snapshots like enlarged contact sheets.
Josef Koudelka, Route 60/Beit Jala, Bethlehem (2009)
Josef Koudelka, born in 1938, began taking photographs in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. Later, he worked for the famous Magnum agency in Paris. The trained aeronautical engineer is still fascinated by aerial photography and picturesque landscapes taken from an elevated perspective. This photo shows a view of Bethlehem from above.
Rosalind Fox Solomon, Jerusalem (2011)
Solomon is the oldest of the artists in this ambitious project. Born in Illinois, USA in 1930, she has worked and photographed extensively in India, Peru and also in the southern US. Solomon stayed in Israel for five months in 2010/11, drove in buses across the country, photographed pilgrims, tourists, and refugees. Her works show moments of joy, but also deep sadness.
Stephen Shore, St. Sabas Monastery, Judean Desert (2009)
This color photograph by New Yorker Stephen Shore (born in 1947) seems as archaic as if from the Bible. "What struck me in Israel and the West Bank was a crazy web of energy, something very unique that was going on there," he said in an interview. The Greek Orthodox St. Sabas, founded in 483 near Bethlehem, is the oldest monastery in the Palestinian territories — and is still inhabited today.
Fazal Sheik, From the Desert (2011)
Photographer Fazal Sheik (born in New York in 1965) tracked down the remains of abandoned Bedouin settlements in countless flights over the Israeli Negev Desert. He photographed the remnants of the systematic expulsion by the Israeli state, which have buried themselves in the desert sand. He dedicates his work to the expellees of this world.
Spectacular museum building
The Jewish Museum Berlin was given a completely new look with the addition by American architect Daniel Liebeskind. The permanent exhibition, which is currently being redesigned and reworked, is dedicated to Jewish life, past and present. The photo project "This Place," which has already been shown in Tel Aviv, Prague, and New York, is on show at the Jewish Museum through January 5, 2020.