[ EPF 2013 SHORTLIST ]
ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
The photographs are part of the series Chasseurs, shot during the summer of 2010 in the jungles of the Republic of Congo. They are a product of the time I spent living with the local hunters. Working at the heart of the jungle I became aware of the presence of local hunters, and grew fascinated by their ancient knowledge, their manners, and the near-mystical power they seemed to possess within their environment. To track them I had to study the paths they took, recognizing the footprints and the marks they left on the terrain. Striving for more contact, I learned their techniques, eventually copying them in their trade. In my work there is no clear distinction between the roles of photographer and subject. My need to immerse myself relays to my interest in acting, in assuming a character. Embracing the techniques and lifestyle of my subjects allowed me a unique point of view. The photographs taken during that summer show a relationship far more complex then the one between hunters and hunted. In them the subjects mirror the fascination of the photographer, willing in their curiosity to receive direction, allowing me to capture moments of intimacy, and vulnerability in an otherwise violent and rugged existence. By exposing the soft core of the hunter I attempted to expose a contemporary remnant of an ancient manly archetype, disrupting, or undermining the mechanisms of manhood.
In my work there is no clear distinction between the roles of photographer and subject. My need to immerse myself into the situation depicted relays to my interest in acting, in assuming a character. My work process, therefore, is one of totality and intimacy. Two themes are evident in most of my work; the first – an exploration of defined spaces – public and private – the second – the exploration of masculinity within the cultural and societal context. My chosen subjects are often ones of prominent masculine nature.
Born in Isreael in 1982, I was technically trained in photography as a special operations soldier in the Israeli Defense Force. Released from service at age 22, I traveled the world for 4 years, photo documenting my journeys through North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Back to Israel in age of 26, I enrolled at the College Of Geographic Photography, where I spent a year studying documentary photography. At that time I began working as a freelance photographer for a major Israeli newspaper. In 2008 I enrolled at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, where I studied photography and art for two years.