“On My Watch”

Face Forward, 2021. (Scan from 35mm negative film.)

On My Watch is the name of an ongoing series of projects that have in common that they make use of double-exposure to explore the Self and its relationship to its environment.

Double-exposure creates a hybrid reality on film and in our minds: I shoot the roll a first time, focusing on my immediate environment and the places I go—in the frame above, the town of Beer Sheva in the south of Israel, where my mother is buried. Then, I rewind and expose the roll a second time, photographing myself with the lamp bulb in my bathroom, that most intimate of locations. This creates artificial documents which “squeeze” together the person and the environment. It clashes with the tradition of the “environmental portrait”, which too often uses the location as a “backdrop” for the human “subject”. Here the subject of the image is the relationship between the two.

The projects in this series overlap, but separating them is a convenient way to focus the research on specific topics—for instance the hothouse-like impact of a lockdown on a person’s identity/ies (Home is Where the Self Is…), the human gaze at work as we observe/construct “a landscape” (‘Landscapes’), or our ability to “be” in two places at the same time (Somewhere, Somehow).

For an explanation of the methodology of this quest which is both epistemological and ontological, I suggest starting with the series & reflection I came, I saw—Therefore I was.