6th exhibition in the 19th Nidbach series | Tulips
Keren Lapidot Omri
Curator: Shaviv Hanna
31 Oct — 26 December, 2015
In his work Omri documents the changes the kibbutz society is undergoing and the members’ relationship to the place and landscape. The photographs document a specific moment in the kibbutz history. Traces of the past are still present while the uncertainty of change is already felt. Omri photographs dining halls, communal stages, residence and etc. In straightforward black-and-white photographs,
in a typological research, he examines the differences among the various structures in the kibbutz space. Dining halls, for example, are institutional buildings made of exposed concrete, coated with granulite, sprayed plaster or bricks. All of them have glass entrances, some with wall engravings of Israeli drafted art from the 1930′s and the 40′s. All the dining halls are surrounded by well-tended lawns,
potted plants and old trees.
The placement of the dining halls, their size, the play of light and shadow, all convey a sense of strength and calm. The signs of (absent) people are recognizable though the everyday objects and the environmental landscaping. The question arises, who were the architects of these buildings? How was the kibbutz’s spatial aesthetic
determined and which ideologies do these architectural concepts represent? What are the changes that have come in the wake of privatization and how have they been expressed in space? For example, the number of mobility scooters refers to an aging population. In addition to documenting buildings, Omri shows photographs of his friends, families and others, some of them members of his own kibbutz, on hikes and strolls in nature. The hikers are “small” in the landscape, shown mainly from behind, and their body language conveys melancholy and embarrassment. These are neither the conquerors of the land nor “the new sons of the desert”. The photographs defy the myth of the brash Israeli (Tzabar), lord of the land, which appears in Israeli photography from the period of the founding of the state. Omri, conducts a dialogues with the founding values of the kibbutz enterprise and the history of Zionist engaged art.