Salt of the Earth- Photographs
20 December, 2014 — 14 February, 2015
Elisheva Shaked’s series of photographs, “Salt of the Earth,” restricts itself to the Dead Sea Works factory, but it also extends from her greenhouse series (2008-2012), shot in the Jordan Valley. Between these two loci, Shaked continues her search for the building blocks of her photographic language. Its grammar is faithful to the classic photographic tradition – glaring Mediterranean light, a texture of salt and sunburnt metal, and a composition that examines a complex relationship between primeval nature and a landscape scarred by human hands.
Israeli society’s stance on the state of the Dead Sea is complex. There is a general feeling that not enough is being done to protect its landscape and identity. From the photographer’s viewpoint, photographic liberty is taken away from her as well, by fences and security systems, which prevent the scenery from yielding to her easily.
In her current series, Shaked walks the “salt divide” by concocting a precise blend. She follows in the footsteps of the new topographic photographers of the 1960′s, who reexamined the myth of the Western landscape through a critical, at times cynical lens, which is supposedly “impartial.” But in her own personal language, Shaked’s implicit critique is blended with genuine love for both beauty and nature. This way she documents with her camera a fascinating choreography of dance between amorphous formations and rigid matrixes, in which chaos and symmetry ultimately merge.