This exhibition began with a journey devoted to the exploration of toy cameras: a journey that attempted to connect to the sense of loss experienced by many photographers, who had been accustomed to thinking of film negatives as their work material, of the photography lab as their studio, and of the aperture adjuster and shutter speed as assistants.
Toy cameras produce low-resolution images of a fragile, at times even romantic and beautified reality. Their lo-fi photographic language results in soft, blurred images surrounded by a black, dreamlike vignette and a seductive and kitschy palette; it is easy to be captivated by their charms, and to understand why they appeal to so many photographers. A related characteristic of such cameras is the element of surprise.
The exhibition focuses on an alternative form of art making that has emerged in response to a sense of loss, to a desire for personal contact with the photographic materials and to a yearning for the experience of enchantment related to the discovery of unexpected surprises.
It features a series of unique images, which center on the encounter between the artist – the photographing subject – and the world. Photography as we knew it in the past is in the process of disappearing. Yet working with negatives, which have today become an archeological vestige of sorts, restores to the contemporary culture of photography and visual images the limitations – and advantages – of working with actual materials; they appear to us now as messages from another age, in which pictures had “a handmade quality, an aura.”
Participating photographers: Sasha Abramovich, Ruth Agassi, Tali Amitai-Tabib, Miki Kratsman, Daniela Orvin, Malka Spigel-Newman, Yaniv Waissa, Natalie Zwillinger
Exhibition curator Anat Gorel-Rorberger is a photographer and a graduate of the Museology Studies program, Tel Aviv University (2009)