Extensively covered by the media, debated by the nations of the world, and claimed by vying religions, Israel is also a case study on the phenomena of the rise and fall of empires. By photographically highlighting Israel’s vast archaeological repertoire, its historic architecture and its contemporary—and highly debated—ruins, Israeli artist Shai Kremer questions how these sites and lands are used today in the discourse of the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the future of the country.
About the Artist
Kremer was born in Israel and now divides his time between Tel Aviv and New York. His first monograph Infected Landscape: Israel, Broken Promised Land, was released by Dewi Lewis Publishing. Among the many honors he has received is the Israel Pais Grant for Art and Culture. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions world wide, including Looking In, Looking Out at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem in 2010; Exposed at the London TATE Modern and the San Francisco MoMA in 2010, as well as the Walker Art Center in 2011; Reality Check at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2008; the 2007 Guangzhou Photo Biennale in Canton, China; Loaded Landscape at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL in 2007; and Disengagement at the Contemporary Art Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2006.
About the Writers
Meron Benvenisti (born 1934) is an Israeli political scientist who was Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem under Teddy Kollek from 1971 to 1978 and administered East Jerusalem and its largely Arab neighborhoods. He has long been a critic of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and is an advocate of the idea of a binational state. Benvenisti established the West Bank Database Project in 1982. He wrote a column for Haaretz for many years and has written several books. He is the son of Israel Prize recipient David Benvenisti.
Anne Wilkes Tucker is an American museum curator of photographic works. She received a B.A. in Art History from Randolph Macon Woman’s College in 1967, and an A.A.S in Photographic Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1968. In 1972, she received an M.F.A in Photographic History from the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, studying under Nathan Lyons and Beaumont Newhall. Tucker has worked for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston since 1976, when it possessed virtually no photographs. The MFAH Photography department was established in December 1976; in 1978, she became the MFAH curator and in 1984 she was named the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography. Tucker has organized more than forty exhibitions for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and elsewhere, including retrospectives for Brassaï, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer, George Krause, Ray K. Metzker, and Richard Misrach; as well as surveys on Czech avant-garde photography, a survey of the history of Japanese photography, and a selection from the Allan Chasanoff Collection.
Until 2004, Talya Sason worked for 25 years in Israel’s State Justice Department as a state prosecutor and senior government attorney. She worked in the Occupied Territories and for the Supreme Court, in charge of representing West Bank citizens. At Ariel’s Sharon request, she investigated and authored a report on illegal settlements and outposts published in March 2005. Since that time, this report has been held as foundational document for information and decisions on the matter.
For over two decades, Dr. Amiram Oren has been specializing in the field of the geography of defense and its research. Since the beginning of 2008 he has been the director of the Security Space discussion group, which deals with topics concerning the territorial dimension of security in Israel. From 2003–2007 Oren, together with Prof. Gabriel Sheffer and Dr. Oren Barak, both of the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University, he has co-coordinated the research workshop, “An Army that has a State?” which examined the status of defense and security, and the relations between the military and Israeli society, particularly in informal contexts. Since 2005, Oren has been a research fellow at the Chaikin Cathedra of Geo-Strategy at Haifa University. Researcher, lecturer and author of numerous publications on the subject of the use of ground resources for defense purposes in Israel, Oren conducts comparative studies and analyses between Israel and other countries throughout the world. His book, A Land in Uniform – Territory and Defense in Israel, written together with Rafi Regev, was published in 2008.
Dr. Ariella Azoulay teaches visual culture and contemporary philosophy at the Program for Culture and Interpretation, Bar Ilan University. She is the author of The Civil Contract of Photography (forthcoming from Zone Books), Once Upon A Time: Photography following Walter Benjamin (Bar Ilan University Press, 2006, in Hebrew), Death’s Showcase (MIT Press, 2001, winner of The Infinity Award, ICP) and Training for Art (Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, Tel Aviv 2000, in Hebrew) and the director of documentary films, At Nightfall (2005), I Also Dwell Among Your Own People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara (2004), The Chain Food (2004), The Angel of History (2000) and A Sign from Heaven (1999). She is a Post-Doctoral research fellow from The Rosenzwieg Center, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem and received her Ph.D (cum laude) from The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel-Aviv University.
Infected Landscape, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR
Fallen Empires, Julie M. Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fallen Empires, James Hyman Gallery, London, UK
Fallen Empires, Julie M. Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Fallen Empires, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY
Fallen Empires, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco, CA