Conceptual - NOMINEE: Roei Greenberg
Along The Break
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“ALONG THE BREAK”//ROEI GREENBERG
The Great Rift Valley is a continuous geographic trench caused 35 million years ago by movement of tectonic plates and runs from Lebanon's Beqaa Valley in Asia to Mozambique in South Eastern Africa.
This topographic phenomenon also known as The “Syrian-African break” in Hebrew and crosses contemporary Israel from north to south.
En route, it carves out the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and shapes the physical borders of Israel; with Lebanon and Syria in the north, with Jordan along the eastern front and with Egypt in the south.
Although the BREAK is used to describe the physical features of the phenomenon, I use it as a platform for my conceptual journey in the Israeli landscape, a place soaked with history and conflicts, A place that is part of me as an Israeli, and which I see as broken.
My photographic work offers a poetic framework. I confined myself to the geographic boundaries of the phenomenon, while confronting the break as a metaphor of the ideological and social crisis that this local landscape represents; The minefields of the Golan Heights, the empty communal kibbutz dining hall, an abandoned resort to the dry shores of the Dead Sea and the watchtowers scattered throughout the landscape.
The physical and metaphorical journey is a main theme in my work. I take the idea of the American photographic road trip, the endless roads and vast open spaces and import that notion into the small, restricted, Israeli landscape.
Using a large format camera, I reorganize the materials of reality into an alternative entity and transform the relics into monuments, pictorial and provoking, yet tinged with irony and underlying ideological tones. I wish to create an ongoing dialogue between the everyday and the sublime.
Roei Greenberg (b.1985) is a London based Israeli artist.
Greenberg grew up in Kibbutz Yiftach, a small community in the north of Israel. He moved to Tel Aviv in 2009 and started his studies at Minshar Art College where he graduated in 2013.
In 2014, Greenberg’s work was selected to win the best landscape series at the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards. The winning images were exhibited at Somerset House, London.
Some of his most recent projects include a commission for the Israeli Ministry of Science, to create a body of work about Israeli achievements in the different fields of science. It showed at the Ben Gurion International Airport in 2016 and continues to receive international acclaim and exposure. The year prior, Alon USA, an American oil company, commissioned Greenberg to create a photographic journey between refineries in California, Texas and Louisiana which Greenberg titled: ‘The Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’.
In 2017 Greenberg’s recent body of work, titled ‘Along The Break’ was chosen as a finalist at the Magnum Photography Awards, won the 1st prize for photographed story at Local Testimony contest, shortlisted for the Felix Schoeller Photo Award, The Meitar Photography Award and was selected as part of the Critical Mass 2017 top 50. The project was exhibited worldwide in venues such as: 'Fresh Paint' art fair (Tel Aviv), Ildiko Butler Gallery (NYC), 'Vanishing Lands' (Venice), The Photographers Gallery (London), Israel Museum (Tel Aviv) and The Athens Photo Festival (Athens).
‘Along The Break’ was recently selected as a finalist for the Prix Levallois 2018. Will be on show at Fotofestiwal Lodz 2018, Poland in June and at Aperture Gallery, NYC as part of the Aperture Summer Open as well as at Edition ONE Gallery, Santa Fe as part of the Critical Mass 2017 Top 50 Exhibition.
Greenberg's work focuses on places where geography and history meet and offer a complex photographic perspective; pictorial and laced with empathy on one hand, yet tinged with irony and underlying ideological tones on the other. This emotional duality runs through his works, sews them together and forms a unique point of view. the personal is woven through the political and social as part of an ongoing dialogue between the ordinary and the sublime.