Palestina in the Snow - PhMuseum

Palestina in the Snow

Sivan Elirazi

2013 - Ongoing

Israel

"Palestina in the Snow" is a comprehensive title to an ongoing body of works since 2013. My motivation in this merge is to encompass two main projects ("Skvaznak" and "Venus in Palestina"), that explore my autobiographical and cultural background, full of forced tensions: between the Russian and the Israeli, the feminine and the masculine, belonging and foreignness, the snow and the desert. Interweaving these polar opposites is made possible thanks to the photographic medium’s ability to act as a moment-generating machine, and due to its inherent manipulative dimension. Each image is based on a predetermined narrative, which dictates the current identity of the photographed, her place within the landscape and the manner in which she is photographed.

The frames document staged gestures of a performative essence in relation to the photographed landscape, its political and formative contexts. The ‘decisive moment’ in which the photograph is taken marks the death of these very gestures, which will never recur in any other context. The use of a medium analogical format underscores that photography is a morbid apparatus, much like the issues of belonging, history and identity that I explore.

"Palestina in the Snow" is an intimate laboratory in which I examine issues of identity, femininity and culture; a flexible simulacra of alternative memories and history.

During the course of my work I ask to cope with the ‘social mutation’ that is as the heart of the Israeli society, whilst creating a parallel between it and photography, which itself also acts as a hybrid in the art field.

"Skvaznak" ('strong wind' in Russian), 2013-2014

- “In my mind she is still slamming the small kitchen window to protect me from the wind, that mystical gust of intensity and darkness, that wandered in our wake the 5 thousands kilometers separating Kiev and the Kiryat Yam Absorption Center in Israel. I was a fatherless girl and I wanted to know everything. The absence pulsated in our lives like a second heart, a constant persistent presence of abandonment and longing”.

My BFA graduation project composed of fictional scenes taken in several locations. During the course of my work I sought for abandon territories, marginal and unrecognizable. The action of self-photographing constitutes my claiming for taking place – a privilege that was excluded from me so far.

The works contain symbolic motives of femininity, Russian culture, and immigration – so that the everyday stereotypes I carried became to be strengths. The use of release cable highlights my control of the decisive moment, in which the frame was created. The visibility of our bodies’ changed the scenery during the fragile second of shooting, and marked our presence on the historical and geographical line. I was able to rewrite my private connotations of history and territory.

"Venus in Palestina" (2016 – present)

This ongoing series asks to examine the differences between the terms 'citizen' and 'subject' (terms associated to photography by artist Jeff Wall) through the photographic medium, in the midst of Palestinian territory charged with political and historical connotations. During my lifespan in Israel I always felt like an alien, not a citizen free to roam and shape the land. Thus, every photograph is an effort to claim back and mark territory; the photographic act immortalizes my presence in the landscape and marks a physical spot on the historical and geographic axes.

Although composed of self-portraits, the series attempts to free itself from biographical and theatrical rationale: the photographed character aspires to embody women as a whole, not to represent a singular nor specific woman.

An additional facet to "Venus in Palestina" is the link created between femininity and the earth: both are devoid of autonomy ‘invite’ others to conquer them. Moreover, each image aspires to contain two dimensions: the aesthetic and the ideological-historical. On the one hand there is a motivation to create a sensual image that will seduce the spectator and on the other, hides the political aspect that pushes him away.

The use of a timer detaches me from the camera and creates a thread between the photographed figure and the one who photographs.

*All the works are made with Hasselblad film camera.

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  • Sunrise
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2014
    inkjet print
    200*200 cm

  • Immigration virgins
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2013
    inkjet print
    80*80 cm

  • The dead sea
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2013
    inkjet print
    80*80 cm

  • The Binding
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2013
    inkjet print
    100*100 cm

  • Pipes
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2014
    inkjet print
    35*35 cm

  • Dune
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2014
    inkjet print
    35*35 cm

  • Picture for Women
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2014
    inkjet print
    200*200 cm

  • It hurts every day in the sunset
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2014
    inkjet print
    80*80 cm

  • The trumpet in my head
    (from 'Skvaznak'),
    2015
    inkjet print
    35*35 cm

  • The Officer's pool
    (from 'Venus in Palestina'),
    2016
    inkjet print
    200*200 cm

  • The peace game
    (from 'Venus in Palestina'),
    2017
    inkjet print
    200*200 cm

  • I missed Lot's wife
    (from 'Venus in Palestina'),
    2017
    inkjet print
    50*50 cm

  • Je vous salue, Mari
    (from 'Venus in Palestina'),
    2016
    inkjet print
    200*200 cm

  • Foreign fruit
    (from 'Venus in Palestina'),
    2017
    inkjet print
    50*50 cm

  • Sometimes i wish i were a wheel
    (from 'Venus in Palestina'),
    2016
    inkjet print
    50*50 cm

  • Cloud and crystal
    (from 'Venus in Palestina'),
    2017
    inkjet print
    50*50 cm


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