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FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY 

YESHAYAHU LEIBOWITZ

JERUSALEM, 1986

 

 

A PHOTOGRAPHER-ARTIST WALKS THE LAND, THE TOOLS OF HIS TRADE IN HAND, VIEWING THE PLAY OF EVERYDAY LIFE, THE NORMALCY OF THE DAY TO DAY, IN LANDSCAPE, SETTLEMENT AND STREET. HE IS STRUCK AS WELL, HOWEVER, BY MOMENTS WHICH, THOUGH THEY APPEAR STRANGE AND OUT-OF-JOINT, HAVE IN FACT BECOME A PART OF THE DAILY ROUTINE OF THAT SPECIAL REALITY WITHIN WHICH WE EXIST. THIS REALITY, UNIQUE FROM ITS VERY INCEPTION - A JEWISH SETTLEMENT, AN INGATHERING OF EXILES FROM WIDELY DIFFERING CULTURES - HAS BECOME GRAVELY COMPLEX, EVEN DISTORTED, FROM THAT MOMENT IN WHICH, AS A RESULT OF CONQUEST, THERE WAS ESTABLISHED THE REIGN OF ONE PEOPLE OVER ANOTHER AND WITH IT A NEW WAY OF LIVING BASED UPON THAT REIGN.

FROM TIME TO TIME THE PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES A CHANCE, EVEN MOMENTARY SCENE WHICH SPEAKS ELOQUENTLY, NOT ONLY OF ITSELF, BUT OF THE ENTIRE ISRAELI REALITY. THESE TRANSITORY SCENES HE CAPTURES WITH HIS CAMERA, FIXING THEM INTO IMAGES, A SELECTION OF WHICH ARE PRESENTED IN THIS BOOK. THE ARTIST DID NOT UNDERTAKE THE TASK OF CONDUCTING A SYSTEMATIC SURVEY OF THIS REALITY, AND DID NOT INTEND TO ENCOMPASS ITS DIVERSITY WITHIN HIS PHOTOGRAPHS. HE PRESENTS US WITH A COLLECTION OF IMPRESSIONS OF THIS AMAZING DIVERSITY AND ITS DARING CONTRASTS. THERE ARE PHOTOGRAPHS OF EVERYDAY LIFE, OF WORK AND ENTERTAINMENT, OF GRAY WEEKDAY AND FESTIVE HOLIDAY; OF JEWS AND ARABS IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL; ENCOUNTERS BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND CELEBRATION, EXTRAVAGANT WEALTH AND OPPRESSIVE POVERTY, PROPER HUMAN RELATIONS AND WICKEDNESS AND CRUELTY. AT TIMES THE JUXTAPOSITION OF TWO PHOTOGRAPHS SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT OUR EXISTENCE, OUR ACHIEVEMENTS, AND WHAT WE HAVE DONE TO OURSELVES AND OUR FELLOWMAN.

ONE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE COLLECTION SHOWS A PREGNANT WOMAN ON THE BACKGROUND OF THE SHELLING OF A SETTLEMENT. NOTHING COULD SAY MORE TO THE SENSITIVE AND PERCEPTIVE SOUL WITHIN US.