In 1999 I started photographing the ominous imprint of the military on the Israeli landscape — and reflectively, on Israeli society.
My images mirror the psychological trauma and resulting ambivalence of living in a world of friction, they also warn against vestiges of warfare becoming a permanent fixture in people’s lives.
Susan Sonntag explained how the media war images make us callous to violence and the suffering of others. I also agree with Richard Misrach saying that “beauty can be a very powerful conveyor of difficult ideas”. The images I shoot are often formally attractive, aesthetic, orderly compositions apparently “innocent” and poetic. This parallels the defense mechanisms developed by Israelis striving for normalcy and to protect themselves from the reality of the current political situation. The scars concealed in the landscape correspond to the wounds in the collective unconscious of the country. The landscape, infected with loaded sediments of the ongoing conflict, becomes a platform for discussion.
The photographs attract the viewer, seduce him closer then challenge him to reflect on their meaning and implications: a personal style that has been called “both clinical and emotional”.
As written by Sverker Svorlin, “military landscapes […] are collective memories. They remind us that political violence has a spatiality and that it can be found also amongst landscape that we have learned to love. […] Giving these military landscape some visibility may therefore be an act of peace”.