Feb 25, 2019
Lior is an Israeli photographer who creates expressive narratives that challenge our perception of reality and make us think beyond the frame. In his series "Real Images in an Illusory World", Lior stages daily scenes seeking to confront the banality of the "selfie" and social media self-representation by avoiding "the happy image". By decontextualising the sitters, Lior creates theatrical tableaus that slowly unveil the personality of his characters, but at the same time left us wondering about the things that we can't see in the picture, and it it precisely this duality that makes his images intriguing and very attractive.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
LH - I was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. I received my academic training at "The Royal Academy of Art" in The Hague, The Netherlands. My work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and photo festivals, published in books, magazines and is also in private collections.
Parallel to creating personal projects, I lead artist workshops and photography courses. Currently, I am working on a body of work entitled, 'Embedded Memory,' which will be exhibited next year in Switzerland at the Museum MACT / CACT Arte Contemporanea Ticino Bellinzona.
am - How did you start in photography?
LH - I guess that my first experience in photography began by not photographing, but rather by watching as a small child at my father placing pictures carefully in our family album. Looking into those albums was magical to me. I remember that he took many photographs. I guess it influenced me in some way or another as well. I got my first camera at the age of thirteen and began taking pictures ever since. Only ten years later, I realized that I wanted to become a photographer.
am - What is “Real Images in an Illusory World” about?
LH - It is a collection of scenes that I took between 2000 - 2003. The starting point in the process was an attempt to penetrate beyond the representative "I", beyond the veil, and to reach intimacy and candor with the sitter. I wanted to focus on the person and their natural environment. The exposure process led to the controlled selection of the items in the photograph so that they are identified with the photographed person, with the desire to create a contrast between the place, the lighting, the colors and the mood of the character.
I think that many people perpetuate only moments of achievement, success, and happiness. This type of commemoration is partial, tendentious and sometimes false. Perhaps most of us are still captivated by the perception that only moments of joy and achievement are beautiful moments and therefore worthy of documentation. I was seeking to expose the alienation between the character and its world, its surroundings and to reflect an experience of detachment and futility. Both, in closed personal spaces and in the open space, the figures are cut off and locked under an invisible veil that distinguishes them from their context. Their eyes are wide open, but they are not looking anywhere.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
LH - It is a tough question to answer since there are quite a few, among others: Edward Weston, Yousuf Karsh, William Klein, André Kertész, Raymond Depardon, Jeff Wall, Martin Parr, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Stephen Shore.
Some of my favorite artists: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Monet, Pierre Bonnard, van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Rothko, Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
LH - I don't think I have a favorite movie, but the first one that comes to my mind, and which I enjoyed very much was 'Nuovo cinema Paradiso' by Giuseppe Tornatore.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
LH - One of my favorite books is 'Yangtze – The Long River' by Nadav Kander.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
All images © Lior Herchkovitz