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Yaakov Israel: The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey
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Yaakov Israel: The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey (Hardback)

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As per the Orthodox Jewish tradition the Messiah (the Prophet) will arrive riding on a white donkey. A few years ago, as Yaakov Israel was photographing near the Dead Sea a Palestinian man rode past him on his white donkey and he took a picture of him. It was after having developed this plate that he realized he had encountered his own Messiah; it was this chance encounter that brought him to initiate the body of work that in the end became this book. As he found himself passing through the same places over and over again since Israel is a small country, the personal identity of his project was revealed to him: he had to let go the idea of narrating the physical journey itself and concentrate on the intimate, emotional reactions that these places evoked in himself; he focused on trying to understand how he was reacting to the occasional encounters with people and sceneries; and how those people and sceneries appeared to be revealed or lost at the same time, as if they were part of a scene that was ever changing or not changing at all.

As his messenger started to reveal the message, the search for a deeper understanding of Yaakov's country and what defines him as an Israeli became an urge to look for the in-between places, the unexpected situations; suddenly a detail requested his attention as he stood for hours waiting for a meaning to reveal itself: or pushed him away, puzzled. But in the end he had to hold on to it. He could not let go until that detail was made his, until the elusive and enigmatic found their place in his understanding of what he deemed as authentic, real encounter. The Quest is Yaakov's attempt to relay a personal take on the Israeli reality with a broader sense of belonging to the global human collectivity. Part of Yaakov's identity as Israeli is to question everything, not to leave anything for granted: to show the tensions that constantly exist, to convey the truth behind the construction of the reality here and now. Religious, social aspects filter into everyday life and their meanings are exposed as the journey moves on. Jewish missionaries, lost souls and individuals living on the fringe of society: all blend into this landscape of humanity.

Art, Fashion & PhotographyPhotography & photographsIndividual photographersArt, Fashion & PhotographyPhotography & photographsPhotographs: collections Publisher: Schilt Publishing b.v. Publication Date: 05/03/2012 ISBN-13: 9789053307649  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Yaakov Israel was born in 1974 in Jerusalem, where he lives and works.He graduated in 2002 (BFA) with honors from the Department of Photography at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. Following his graduation he received a scholarship from the Academy for an additional year of research. In his work he constantly investigates the Israeli identity as perceived through architecture, landscape and the people living in his country. He finds that he is drawn to document places that are from one point of view characteristic of the Israeli landscape but on the other hand are not noticeable to most."As a person who takes an interest in my surroundings I find that I return again and again to the same places, and these places and their inhabitants have become vital parts of my biography." His work has been the subject of solo and group shows which were exhibited in museums and galleries in Israel and internationally.Since 2004 he has been teaching photography at some of the most prominent Art and Photography schools and colleges in Israel.

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