Photographer Frederic Brenner’s massive Israel project seeks to see beyond the conflict.
When photographer Frederic Brenner decided to invite a group of the finest photographers in the world to spend time in Israel and the West Bank to create their own portraits of the place, some were intrigued and others were wary of being used for political gain, or were just not interested enough. But Brenner is a man of huge enthusiasm, persistence and vision, and ultimately convinced 11 men and women to take up his invitation to see a land more complicated than headlines suggest. At the same time, he convinced funders to contribute several millions of dollars. The result is an unprecedented international creative initiative launching this spring.
“These are seers who ask difficult questions,” Brenner says of the photographers, who include Josef Koudelka, Jungjin Lee, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Solomon, Thomas Struth and Jeff Wall. He didn’t expect them to find answers. “I wanted to expose them to the complexity and dissonance of the place — to get them totally confused on a high level.”
The photographers each spent around six months in Israel over a four-year period. Their styles, formats and areas of interests varied greatly, and Brenner suggests that their art looks far beyond political perspectives. Rather, it’s about exploring the human condition.
“This Place,” to be introduced in stages, includes an exhibition of more than 500 images slated to open in the fall in Prague at DOX: Centre Josef Koudelka, Jungjin Lee, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Solomon, Thomas Struth and Jeff Wall. He didn’t expect them to find answers. “I wanted to expose them to the complexity and dissonance of the place — to get them totally confused on a high level.”
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