Installed in the gallery’s new space at 29 Bell Street, photographs of seemingly mundane scenes from the Israeli countryside comprise the artist’s first exhibition at this gallery (14 November-12 January). Groups of people walk through the landscape, dressed in casual weekend clothes (below “Untitled (Caesaria)”, 2000); children gather together behind a tumbledown brick wall, possibly at the end of the school day; visitors to a zoo observe an unseen animal. Despite ostensibly ordinary subject matter, such photographs ask questions of the viewer: what are these people doing; where are they going; what are they talking about? Most of the images were taken in winter, giving the landscapes a foreign, short-lived European hue of greenness. Often the green spaces fringe urban developments, or a pylon intersects an otherwise empty landscape. While ostensibly non-political images, our knowledge of what is happening in nearby cities means that they do not offer the Arcadian ideal of retreat and rest usually associated with images of the landscape. Digital intervention is almost indiscernible, and yet it generates an enigmatic, disturbing effect as, upon closer inspection, the countryside reveals a sense of claustrophobic unease that subverts the observation of ordinary people going about their lives. Price range: $3,500-$7,500.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Sharon Ya’ari'