Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gilad Ophir
Artist's Studios, Tel Aviv
One Person show
Nov' - Dec" 2016

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Symposium : 'Pathologies of Photography'

Pathologies of Photography

Lectures and open discussion on practice research and theory on current and fundamental  photography issues and discourse. 

Gilad Ophir,
Shenkar Art Department,
Ramat Gan, Israel. 

Opening statement

'Pathologies of photography'

Shankar, Department of Art

January 28, 2015

Why photography was invented? 
I will try to look beyond the insights that are known and familiar to us, that include (among others) the prolonged widespread use of the  'Camera Obscura', accompanied by optical, chemical  and technological advancements, the complex development of painting, and the accelerated evolution of emerging sciences of the 17-18 centuries up to mid 19 c.
My pursuit was to discover deeper motives in western culture, accompanied by a thought that photography played an important role in the development of modern consciousness and modern society more than any other artistic medium. (My broad conception of photography position and identifies its fields of production as broader than just Art). But the photographic nature had proceeded its invention and is centuries old.
This research claims that photography as consciousness, passion, and as a profound need, accompanies the development of western culture and art consistently over its many years of maturation and development.

In ‘Pathologies of Photography’ I would like to trace photography’s roots, to find aspects of presence and development across preceding periods, the aggregate of past events in the sense that mark, map and chronicle the processes through which the development of photography can be depicted.
to produce a literary work, with its many ingredients and extensive history through divers works of art, literary texts and informative related material, science, history and the effects of various events on social and political processes, philosophy and theoretical thinking.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Gilad Ophir. winner of 2013 Constantiner Photography Award for and Israeli Artist, opens exhibition

Gilad Ophir at the Tel Aviv Museum.

Gilad Ophir's (b. 1957) photographs are well-known for their critical and examining nature. They refer to historical, social and institutional processes and to natural and artificial disintegrations as they are reflected in various types of landscapes and architecture. Ophir, one of the most important photographers active in the past two decades in Israel, observes the development of social ideologies through the less-presentable aspects of architecture, i.e. in construction and collapse, as well as the relations between the means of power and regime with their products. In recent years, in addition to his dealing with the place, its crises and its cultural baggage, Ophir has developed new and autonomous processes of photographic work that combine notions of abstractions with the materiality of objects. 
The surprising collection of works from the past 20 years, including new photographs, enables a new reading of Ophir's work, plundering the careful organization that characterised not only the internal aesthetics of his photographs but also his series' methodological work and coherent continuum of presentation. 
The exhibition presents photographs from the series "Necropolis" (some of which were exhibited and bought by the Tate Modern for its permanent collection), the "city of the dead" that has become a myth in the history of Israeli photography. Deserted army bases, military training areas and shooting targets are presented as if they were silent vestiges of violence and monuments to power, creating a bright link, in the harsh, contrasting mid-day light, between postmodernism in Israeli landscape photography and the post-trauma of a horrified society before and after war, while conquering impulse, lands and wilderness. Alongside and among these photographs are works from the series "Works and Days" which Ophir began photographing in 2006. These works examine Bedouin architectural foundations, a bridge being built, a pile of earth alongside which local vegetation grows on the borrowed time between concrete castings, and a winter field sown with rows of stones, organized like a ceremonial yard awaiting a spectacle. 
In this context, a pair of smoke photographs is considered as a sublime abstraction of disrupted landscape. The fireless smoke does not rise above a fire in the field, but is dispersed like an optical illusion, filling the surface of the photograph like a screen that does not obscure details but rather exposes its own materiality. 

Ophir’s works refer to local culture, but hold a dialogue with the history of photography, exposing the interesting affinity between American photography and
the European sources of typological photography.

Nili Goren 
photography curator
tel aviv museum of art
27 shaul hamelech blvd.
tel aviv 61332
t. 972.3.6077037
f. 972.3.6958099

תצלומיו של גלעד אופיר (נ. 1957) נודעים באופיים המחקרי ובהתייחסותם לתהליכים היסטוריים, חברתיים וממסדיים ולתהליכי התפוררות טבעיים ומלאכותיים, כפי שאלו משתקפים בנוף, ובעיקר בסוגים שונים של אדריכלות. אופיר, מהצלמים החשובים הפועלים בארץ בעשרים השנים האחרונות, בוחן התפתחויות חברתיות אידאולוגיות בארץ דרך היבטים של אדריכלות בשלביה הבלתי ייצוגיים, כלומר בתהליך הבנייה ובתהליך ההתפוררות, ואת היחס בין האמצעים של משטר וכוח לתוצריהם. בשנים האחרונות ניכר שהטיפול שלו במקום, במשבריו ובמטעניו התרבותיים פונה גם לעיסוק בהפשטה ומסיט את המבט מתוכניהם הרעיוניים של מבנים ומהתהליכים שהם משקפים אל חומריותם של אובייקטים התלושים לפעמים מהקשר סביבתי. 

במקבץ מפתיע של עבודות משני העשורים האחרונים, וביניהם גם תצלומים חדשים, מתאפשרת קריאה מחודשת בעבודותיו של אופיר, מתוך פריעת הארגון הקפדני שאפיין לא רק את האסתטיקה הפנימית של תצלומיו אלא גם את העבודה השיטתית בסדרות ואת הרצף הקוהרנטי בתצוגה. בתערוכה מוצגים תצלומים מתוך הסדרה "נקרופוליס" (שתצלומים ממנה הוצגו במוזיאון טייט מודרן ונרכשו לאוסף הקבע שלו), 'עיר המתים' שהפכה למיתוס גם בתולדות הצילום הישראלי. תצלומי מחנות צבא נטושים, שטחי אימונים ומטרות ירי מוצגים בבחינת שרידים דוממים של אלימות ואנדרטאות לכוח ויוצרים חיבור בהיר, באור צהריים ניגודי וקשה, של פוסטמודרניזם בצילום נוף ישראלי עם פוסט טראומה של חברה מבועתת של אחרי מלחמה ולפניה בתוך כדי כיבוש היצר, השטחים והשממה. לצד תצלומים אלו וביניהם מוצגות עבודות מהסדרה "מעשים וימים" שהחל אופיר לצלם ב־2006. בחינת יסודות אדריכלים בדואיים, לצד גשר בבנייה כשעל ערימת עפר שלצדו גדלה צמחייה מקומית על הזמן השאול שבין יציקות הבטון, ושדה חורפי זרוע שורות של אבנים מסודרות כרחבת טקס לפני חיזיון. 

במסגרת הזאת נחשב זוג תצלומי עשן להפשטה נשגבת של הפרעה בנוף. עשן ללא אש שאינו מיתמר מעל שריפה בשטח, אלא מתפזר כתעתוע ראייה וממלא את משטח התצלום כמסך שאינו מסתיר פרטים כי אם חושף את חומריותו שלו. 

עבודותיו של אופיר מתייחסות לתרבות המקומית, אך מנהלות דיאלוג עם תולדות הצילום מתוך חשיפת הזיקה המעניינת בין הצילום הישראלי לצילום האמריקני, ובעיקר זה של הטופוגרפים החדשים, ולמקורותיו האירופיים של הצילום הטיפולוגי. 

Friday, December 29, 2006

The world will not stand still

By Dror Burstein

In Japanese garden art, there is a method known as "borrowing the landscape" (shakei). The idea is simple: the garden's designer treats the garden not only as a "here," divorced from its surroundings, but takes into account the entire range of vision from a certain point in the garden. He treats everything visible as being in an ongoing state of continuity with the particular point at which he is situated. Thus, a distant ridgeline will become an inseparable part of the garden, if the designer places a few rocks or plants a few bushes which will be a miniature imitation of the far-off hills. Inner and outer, in the Western sense, are annulled, and instead of a fence that marks the garden's boundaries and creates it in opposition to the world, you are hurled by the garden's singularity and its otherness, at the horizon, and the horizon comes to you. The landscapes Gilad Ophir photographs - exhibited at Gordon Gallery in Tel Aviv last June - are very different from those any Japanese garden will contain. They are the utter, absolute opposite. They are ruins, but ruins that lack even the romantic grace of the ruin, the grace of times past and crumbling greatness. These are Israeli landscapes, an architectonic dance of skeletons, structures merely of skin and bone. Still, there is one way in which they resemble what sometimes happens in Japanese gardens: they borrow the distant, built-up landscapes and become an integral part of them.

In some of the photographs a simple, powerful and immediate parallel - albeit very muted in the photograph's composition - is created between ruin and horizon, between photographic motif and supposedly indifferent background: a pole that is posed opposite a distant electricity pole, a flat pile of boards and tin that "copies" the line of the horizon, and in the photograph that appears here, an empty water bottle is thrown toward us, and some distance away is its stopper. This is exactly the relation between the photographed ruin and the city in the background: a relation of acquiescence, of mutual aspiration, of unity. Every bottle has a stopper, every city has a ruin. A vertical rod almost touches the turret of a distant mosque, breathes down its neck, breathes down our neck. The ruins of these photographs have been removed from the city. They are not the Roman ruins that are present here-and-now in the city, but an imagined architectural leper colony, which Ophir's camerawork reveals. But he does not make do with revealing these outcasts; by the very act of photographing them he hurls them back to the place where we are ensconced. In one fell swoop, the photograph weaves together ruin, place of settlement and viewer. As I stood in the lovely Gordon Gallery, I imagined that I heard the walls fracturing and the glass door cracking. These ruins, and particularly the one that is photographed here, are a fusion of architectural order (straight, diagonal) with chaos and death. To see this fusion is to understand instantly that the photograph does not exist isolated and alone within the picture framework. It has a direction. If the far horizon is a representative of the built-up order, and the part close to us in the picture is "the middle of the way," then the next stage, the third stage, the stage of absolute destruction, takes place in the place where we, as readers of the catalogue or viewers of the exhibition, are situated. In other words, these pictures do not fade into the horizon, into the vanishing point, but lurch forward from the horizon, in our direction. Try to think of them as trucks hurtling toward you, a moment before impact. The horn, the screeching brakes - that is the effect of these works.

The Japanese haiku master Masahide (1657-1723) wrote: "Barn's burnt down / now / I can see the moon" (translation: Lucien Stryk). Something similar happens in the photographs of Gilad Ophir: the body of the structures disappears and enables revelation, a clear view. But unlike the haiku, what is seen after the destruction of the house is not the moon, or any other thing, but the nature of the house itself, the burnt or destroyed barn itself, or the destruction-prone nature of this place. But in the new works there is also a different type of hope and of view. In other photographs, Ophir's camera sees how this destruction, which is rushing toward us, is only one episode in a larger process. Out of broken heaps of dust springs forth, as though out of no-place, grass. In one of them, a kind of unclear wire connects a hillock to itself like an artery, transforming it instantly into a living organism. Even shreds of orange nylon suddenly look like a blossom. The forsaken and the destroyed are just one moment. The world will not stand still. On the horizon of the green wisps of grass that thrust into the sky loom a few cypresses, verdant; on the upper end of one of the rusting poles, like the reverse of leprosy, ultramarine flowers out of the nothingness, a deep blue that the earth drinks, as with a straw of iron, from the sky. Dror Burstein's most recent book, Harotzhim ("The Murderers"), is published by Babel Ltd.

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