Scenes from an Exhibition (or Two)

As you might have guessed by the relative lack of posts here, things have settled into those hot and humid days of late summer, when even getting up from one’s chair involves a certain amount of prying one’s thighs up from the chair seat accompanied by an embarrassing sound. Getting out to photograph during the day hasn’t been high on my list of “things I want to do” lately. It’s the doldrums. However, I am visiting our blissfully air-conditioned museums more.

On my most recent outing to the Eretz Israel Museum, I spent a lot of time wandering through the galleries of this year’s local “A Photo of Nature #4″ which runs concurrently with London’s Museum of Natural History and the BBC’s “Wildlife Photographer of the Year.” While I certainly don’t shy away from taking nature photos, mine tend to be relatively static objects like trees in a field, stones in a stream and flowers. I’m entirely in awe of those who have the patience to photograph animals on the move or in secluded spots. The most inspiring of all the photos in the WPY exhibit were the ones taken by children, some as young as 8 years-old. I highly recommend it if you are in the neighborhood.

At the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, I walked through Ronit Porat’s 3rd series of photos in her work about Mr. Ulbrich, a watchmaker who moonlighted as an photographer of erotica of young women in early 1930’s Germany, and Ms. Neumann, the young woman who murdered him. The first series of photos was exhibited at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art last year and Porat’s technique of combining archival images with contemporary photos creates a disturbing and unnerving dissonance.

Completely unrelated, as I was leaving TAMA, I stopped in the gift shop and happened upon the lone copy of the 2018 World Press Photo catalog. And while the competition photos are both arresting and distressing, the impact of the catalog cannot compare to the large photos in the exhibit itself, which I hope will be making its rounds here sometime in December.

Featured photo: photo from the 2017 World Press Photo competition exhibit at the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, December 2017.