Central Exhibition of the 10th International Photography Festival
Beyond the simple act or deed, the term action leads us in multiple directions; whether mathematical and physical, concerning crime, cinema, a thrilling activity, or painting, it is also present in myriad expressions, beginning with course of action and ending with freedom of action. PHOTO IS:RAEL International Photography Festival conceptually regards the term through a prism with two distinct contexts, the first being the act of photography itself, and the second being visual and artistic activism. As a method, activism requires us to respond vigorously and with real actions to social, economic, and political situations, seeking to bring about change through, either, the direct performance of actions, or by motivating others. Many of the photographs included in the festival call for civic action by pointing to the “real”, and many of the participating artists strive to change current social and political circumstances, and the state of the individual within them, through an image.
At the beginning of 2022, we issued a call for artists to submit proposals to the central exhibition of the 10th International Photography Festival. Hundreds of artists from some 40 countries submitted bodies of work offering a diverse range of interpretations of the festival’s theme – Action, from which members of the artistic committee selected the twenty-one artists participating in this exhibition.
Emerging from the exhibition is a focus on military and political actions performed by regimes around the world. The exhibiting artists underscore the unprecedented damage caused to populations subject to such regimes, and its effect on civilians who are forced to flee and become refugees with no legal rights. Some of the works refer to wars and acts of violence in the 21st century, while others render historical events from the 20th century, including totalitarian regimes, World War II, and Israel’s Wars. The latter left their mark on society, remaining present both physically and through their influence on collective memory, intergenerational relations, and shaping of identities.
Lack of action preoccupies some of the exhibiting artists, drawing attention to those whose scope of action and movement is limited, and examining the reasons behind these limitations and their mental and physical effects. The repercussions of humanity’s actions on Earth is also present in a number of works that ask – what was here before us, what impact do we have on the environment nowadays, and what will occur on our planet when humanity will no longer control it? Another theme present in the exhibition is the individual agency of one’s own destiny and identity. Actions aimed at preserving traditions are highlighted alongside actions taken by those who wish to change the course of their lives and the circumstances into which they were born.
The combination of all these under one canopy introduces a multitude of reflections regarding the impact we have not only on our very own lives but on the world, expanding the perception of our responsibility for our actions and surroundings.
Ya’ara Raz Haklai
Chief Curator, International Photography Festival
The members of our artistic committee:
Farid Abu Shakra – Interdisciplinary Artist, Curator, Researcher and Writer, Co-founder of Umm al-Fahm Art Gallery
Ohad Benit – Concept Designer | PHOTO IS:RAEL
Omer Frenkel – Conductor and Composer, Chief Editor of KAN Kol Ha’musica, Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation
Eyal Landsman – Co-Founder and Director | PHOTO IS:RAEL
Ya’ara Raz Haklai – Chief Curator and Content Manager| PHOTO IS:RAEL
Iris Ronly Riklis – Manager, Israeli Forum of Cultural Institutes
Nurit Yarden – Artist, Moderator and Curator of Photography
Dr. Lior Zalmanson – Artist, Curator, Head of the Digital Forum at ICOM Israel, Senior Lecturer at Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University
Sagit Zluf Namir – Artist, Lecturer, Curator, Founder of Hamerhav Space for Photography and Art
Upper Photo: Ismail Ferdous
Ya'ara Raz Haklai
Dina Oganova (Georgia) Meital Dor (Israel) Tally Ratzker (Israel) Dana Arieli (Israel) Daniel Rolider (Israel) Hilla Ben Ari (Israel) Boaz Lanir (Israel) Ismail Ferdous (United States) Carlo Bevilacqua (Italy) Haider Khan (India) Romain Veillon (France) Atalia Katz (Israel) Jafra Abu Zoulouf (Israel) Alain Schroeder (Belgium) Meredith Andrews (Bermuda) Natalya Saprunova (France) Jan Richard Heinicke (Germany) Natalia Kepesz (Germany) Kincso Bede (Hungary) Mouneb Taim (Turkey) Matilde Simas (United States)