Introduction to "This Place”
This Place explores Israel and the West Bank through the eyes of twelve interna tionally acclaimed photographers: Frederic Brenner, Wendy Ewald, Martin Kollar, Josef Koudelka, Jungjin Lee, Gilles Peress, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Fox Solomon, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall and Nick Waplington.
Brenner, who spearheaded the project, believed that no single vantage point could fully express the complexity of this historic and contested place. The scope and ambition of This Place rivals such past endeavors as the Farm Security Administration's commission to photograph Depression-era America in the 1930s or France’s Mission Photographique de la DATAR, which documented the French countryside of the 1980s. Unlike those precedents, however, This Place received no government funding, and all the photographers were from outside Israel or the West Bank.
Between 2009 and 2012, the twelve artists spent extended periods of time in residence in Israel and the West Bank. They were free to approach their research and the pinpointing of their subjects as they chose. Nevertheless, several key themes resonate in this exhibition, including family, identity, home, and land scape and the environment, which bring universal signi五cance to the works on view. At the same time, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is impossible to ignore and leaves its mark on many of the images, often in ways that are not immedi ately apparent.
The exhibition presents twelve diverse perspectives, and challenges viewers to go beyond the polarizing perceptions and familiar images of the region in main stream media. The result is a deeply humanistic and nuanced examination that reminds us of the place of art, not as an illustration of conflict, but as a platform for raising questions and engaging viewers in a conversation.
Quoted from the press release