Positive + - Ziv Koren
December 8-29, 2011
Photography does more than conveying information and documenting reality: it also illustrates reality artistically and captures it in private and collective memory. However, photography also invades the private space, confiscating it from its owner and putting it at the disposal of the public, often as an object of voyeurism. But a photographer who fulfills his role faithfully - bringing reality to the public through his own vision - is usually motivated by a commitment that is humane, political, or social.
Documentary photography has become a part of art discourse in recent decades and is frequently exhibited in galleries and museums. Its place in art discourse is constantly changing and being updated. It is part of the discussion on what truth is, what testimony is and what the place of discussion on suffering and trauma in art is.
This collection of photographs reflects photographer Ziv Koren’s unique ability to document and bring testimony out of empathy, feeling, and even compassion for his subjects. Every shot is meticulously thought out, in order to respect the subject and to enable the viewer to feel and experience the given moment – that moment in which Ziv manages to expose the subject’s soul, and not only their face. This may be what distinguishes Ziv’s photos: with great sensitivity, he exposes each of his subject’s personal struggles to the eye of the viewer, without affecting the scene as a photographer, and without a troubling or provocative invasion of the subject’s personal space.
Thousands of moments, hundreds of stories, seven villages, five lenses, three cameras – and one consciousness of truth; a difficult but uncompromising truth. A truth that is thousands of kilometers away, but touching and moving as if it were at our doorstep.
In a collaborative project with the Red Cross, Ziv spent ten days documenting the lives of AIDS patients and HIV-positive residents of the world’s largest concentration of AIDS – Kwazulu-Natal, a province in eastern South Africa.
“No family has been untouched by AIDS: either someone is HIV-positive or sick, or another has died,” says Ziv. Thirty percent of the population are HIV-positive, and over 300 die daily of the disease.
Ziv’s photographs open a door into a world of visual images, in the face of which the viewer cannot stay indifferent. He documents reality with full consideration and attention to the equilateral triangle consisting of photographer, subject, and viewer, and the perfect connection between the three creates a meaning with an added value.
POSITIVE+ is a documentation, awareness, and instruction program of the utmost importance.