Childhood memories of growing up on a Moshav provide me with a tool by which I expose the conflict existing between the manifestation of the agricultural landscape that has developed in Israel over the past century, and how it is presented in culture in general – and in Art in particular – as a majestic landscape.
Contemplating the agricultural landscape in Israel almost always arouses a connection with the Zionist ethos. This ethos attaches ultimate importance to working the land, and subjugating the landscape. In my work I have chosen to document these rural landscapes by using the traditional rules for photographing natural landscapes.
The aesthetic tradition of landscape photography there is a dispute about how to present a wild landscape as being sublime, and as an object of perfection and beauty that portrays man as being small, when compared with the power and the wonder of nature.
During the work process I examine the ‘modus operandi’ of landscape photographers such as Ansel Adams, who utilised a technique of long exposure while maintaining harmony, balance and precision so that he could portray the landscape as being majestic. Alongside this I take advantage of another method that was influenced by Hilla and Bernd Becher, the founders of conceptual photography – typology. That is to say, choosing a single object from within an entire industrial landscape and isolating it from its surroundings.
That is why the photography was done at night. In this way, one achieves separation from the daily experience, and from the people who worked the land and created the landscape. This allows a different viewing experience in relation to the Israeli landscape. This experience leaves one speculating about the vanishing Zionist ethos and the agricultural landscape, that nowadays remains as a vague memory of the faded “Zionist dream”.