The Robert Koch Gallery presents Shai Kremer: Broken Promised Land, a selection of large-scale color photographs of Israeli landscape transformed by military occupation. A publication of this body of work, Infected Landscape: Israel, Broken Promised Land, will be released in September 2008 by Dewi Lewis Publishing.
Shai Kremer’s transfixing compositions explore contested territory throughout Israel. In this region, conflict has left an indelible imprint on the land and on the psyche of its inhabitants. The ominously still images of decommissioned fighter planes used for target practice, eerie mock-ups of Arab villages erected for combat training, and walls and fences built to divide and break up the country, are all artificial structures imposed upon the land; they represent scars that are a constant reminder of active and unresolved strife.
Whitney Museum Curator Sylvia Wolf comments that Kremer’s photography is “rich in contradiction and reflects both aggression and vulnerability.” His images mirror the psychological trauma and resulting ambivalence of living in a world of on-going friction. Kremer’s work warns against vestiges of warfare becoming a permanent fixture in people’s lives and challenges the viewer to consider the long-term effects of perpetual violence within a society.
Shai Kremer was born in Israel and lives in Tel Aviv and New York. His photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, the Chapman Museum, New York, Harvard University, Boston, the Contemporary Art Museum, Tel Aviv, and the Israel Art Museum, Jerusalem. His work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
We would like to acknowledge the support of The Consulate General of Israel in San Francisco for this exhibition.