Yaakov Israel: The Man on the White Donkey
Sinkholes, Ein Gedi, 2011 © Yaakov Israel
Morning Prayer, The Dead Sea Hilton, 2006 © Yaakov Israel
Eman, South Western Negev, 2011 © Yaakov Israel
Burnt Landscape #2, Jerusalem Forest, 2011 © Yaakov Israel
Gadi, Ein Fuar, 2010 © Yaakov Israel
The Man on the White Donkey, HaBiqah, 2006 © Yaakov Israel
'The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey' on show at Fifty One Fine Art Photography Gallery in Antwerpen and at Impressions Gallery in Bradford
As recent events demonstrate, Israel and its surrounding territories have been an area of contention and dispute since the country’s establishment in 1948. In this timely and highly relevant exhibition, Yaakov Israel takes us on a geographical and metaphorical journey across this complex land, offering one man’s viewpoint of the nation whose name he shares .
The exhibition’s title was inspired by a chance encounter with a Palestinian man who rode past whilst Yaakov was photographing near the Dead Sea. The photographer says, ‘It was only after developing the photographic plate that I realised I had encountered my ‘Messiah’: as in Orthodox Jewish tradition, the Messiah (the Prophet) will arrive riding on a white donkey’.
Yaakov’s large scale meticulously detailed images encourage us to appreciate the multi-faceted social and political of this region and discover, Nebi Musa in this contested region in 2010, offering us a highly personal insight into spaces often overlooked by the world’s media. His images evoke an incomplete utopia: an abandoned, overgrown swimming pool in the Northern Judean Desert indicates long standing neglect, whilst a disconcerting armed presence at the Dead Sea Hilton reveals the tension now commonplace in this landscape of uncertainty. Yaakov’s images are filled with allusions to barriers, both physical and metaphoric, which serve as a constant reminder of the unsettled and indeterminate nature of the country itself.
Elsewhere, Yaakov reveals the peace and tranquility that also exists, with images of everyday occurances such as gathering herbs in Haifa, or a moment of solitude bathing in the Sea of Galilee. These sights appear so idyllic one would be forgiven for not realising that beyond the frame, a deep-seated conflict rages on.
Yaakov Israel (Jerusalem, 1974) lives and works in Israel. He graduated in 2002 from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem and has since taught photography at some of the most prominent art and photography schools and colleges in Israel including the Bezalel Academy. His work has been the subject of solo and group shows and he has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally including galleries in the USA, Italy and the UK. Yaakov Israel’s photographs have also been featured in international journals, including TIME LightBox (USA), Photo District News (USA), hotshoe (UK) and PRIVATE (France). The photographer was recently awarded the PHotoEspaña Descubrimientos (New Discoveries) PHE12 Award (2012) for The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey, where the jury panel included Impressions’ Director Anne McNeill. Yaakov is represented by Margaret Street Gallery in London, Fifty One Fine Art Photography in Antwerpen and Oslo8 contemporary photography gallery in Basel.
The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey
18 January to 13 April 2013
Bradford, BD1 1SD
Opening Hours :
Tuesday to Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 12pm to 5pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays
Feb 12st until Mar 30th 2013
Fifty One Fine Art Photography