The City Show

Curator: Yanai Toister

Participating Artists:

Sibylle Bergemann, Espen Eichhofer, Harald Hauswald, Andrej krementchouk, Daniel Meckel, Thomas Meyer, Julian Roeder, Linn Schroder, Heinrich Volkel, Maurice Weiss, Boaz aharonovitch, Daniel bauer, Yosaif Cohain, Dor Guez, Miki kratsman, Gilad Ophir, Efrat Shalemm Efrat Shvily, Sharon Ya’ari

In 2005, Australian environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht coined the term “solastalgia” to describe the deep existential distress visiting upon a man, whose close and familiar environment has become unrecognizable due to continuous climatic changes, or other reasons. The most recent great divide in human history, comparable only to the Neolithic or Industrial Revolutions, came to the fore the moment we learned that more than half of the world’s population no longer lives in the countryside but rather in towns and cities. In his Planet of Slums, Mike Davis contends that in the future the urban population will not live in cities as we know them today. Instead, it will be based in megaslums, in which various policing forces will fight with armed militias over the control of billions of people living in the gutters, surrounded by chemical waste and exposed to all kinds of pestilences.

And even if such an apocalyptic vision still seems far away, we must concede that extreme globalization contributes to the homogenization of space. The world (the global village, town, or megaslum) is not necessarily shrinking, but is rather becoming all the more unified. Thus, there are fewer and fewer sceneries, and places are being replaced by spaces as time goes by.

For some time now, I have suspecting that a curious law governs photography, a law unparalleled in Nature or elsewhere: in photography, things do not end and nothing ever vanishes. And even if something is to disappear, evaporate, and die, it is immediately resurrected, reappearing in the pictures of other photographers.

This exhibition brings together German and Israeli photographers. Images of different cities from around the world are displayed here alongside photograph taken in Israel (a small country, big city and archeological site with no beginning or end). The exhibition strives to find out how different places with common features look, how places that were repeatedly photographed and re-photographed look. Sometimes, or so it seems, photography changes things, re-creates and reinvents them. Sometimes, different worlds seem like their photographed images but also like photographs not yet taken. Wasteland becomes a populated land, and photographs become reality.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to the Goethe Institut, Tel Aviv, and the German-Israeli Future Forum Foundation, without whose assistance the exhibition and the catalogue would not have been possible.

Yanai Toister

April 2010

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