Seventy Faces - Ziv Koren
September 19 – October 31, 2013
The exhibition "Seventy Faces", solo exhibition for photojurnalist Ziv Koren, opened in The first Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, 2013 in Jerusalem.
As the approach to learning Torah is multi-faceted, so is the way we interpret art. We all accept the notion that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," but at the same time we are also commanded "do not look at the vessel but what is inside it."
Indeed, as pointed out by Dr. Hanan'el Mack "the homiletic interpretation and the literal one can reside together and one approach does not negate the other."
And so, we too can view the exhibit "Seventy Faces" of photographer Ziv Koren with a spirit of questioning, agitating and pondering in order to fuel the dialogue—in the realm of art or within the Torah perspective--a Pillar of Fire that continues to guide us.
On the occasion of the exhibit which is presented as part of the First Jerusalem Biennale of Contemporary Jewish Art, Koren chose photographs from the past decade that present the cross-section, the broad range of the Israeli-Jewish reality, including its radicalization. Koren's photographs present many unconventional perspectives –the tension between the exposed and the hidden, between unity and divisiveness. With these images, Koren seeks to open up a dialogue and deliberation on what makes for "Jewish" art, comparing the relationship of Israelis to their Judaism to people in the diaspora, questioning around what these conversations will turn, what is the "role" of the artist in this arena, what are the instincts that the artist has to offer to help create a mutually fruitful interaction.
We are observing images in which those photographed are frozen in an emotional state or in actions. Koren demands that we respond by identifying what feelings arise within in us, sharing these feelings with other viewers and asking ourselves tough questions: what is the meaning of empathy, of apathy or antagonism.
We must check if we are looking or truly seeing, inspecting or observing, appreciating or judging and identify the differences between these actions.
We must ask if we are documenting the past or live broadcasting the present or creating the future.
That's it, if so –my People through the eyes of Ziv Koren, made up of seventy faces (and maybe more).
Now, all that is left to ask is, what do these "faces" foresee?