Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey

The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey is the title of a piece of work that photographer Yaakov Israel has been working on since 2002, the title refers to belief that in the Jewish tradition the Messiah will arrive riding a white donkey.... Below are just a few examples of the work and Yaakov in his own words...:
"A few years ago, as I was taking photographs near the Dead Sea a Palestinian man rode past me on his white donkey...
It is after having developed this plate that I’ve realize that I had encountered my “Messiah”; this meeting brought me to initiate the body of work that carries the name: “The quest for the man on the white donkey”...."
"The American tradition of the great photographic journeys served as a blueprint for the initial phase of the “quest”: with the definitive difference that in such a small Country the size of the territory in which my hunt was pursued would have shaped my proceedings. ...
What otherwise in the documentary photography genre spans over months of continuous traveling, was confronted with a territory in which no matter what destination I had chosen it would have brought me back home by midnight the latest...."
"Then, as I’ve found myself passing through same places over and over again, the personal identity of my project was revealed: I had to let go the idea of narrating the physical journey itself but rather concentrate on the intimate, emotional reactions to those places; how I was reacting to the occasional encounters with people and scenarios..."
"As my “Messenger” revealed himself, the search for a deeper understanding of my Country and what defines me as an Israeli became an urge to look for the in-between places, the non-usual; suddenly a detail requested my attention as I stood for hours waiting for a meaning to reveal itself: or pushed me away, puzzled. But in the end I had to hold to it. I cannot let go until that detail is made mine, until the allusive and enigmatic find their place in my understanding of what I deem as authentic, real....." Yaakov Israel
Click here to see Yaakov's website...

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