TAMPA, FL.- The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
(FMOPA) presents the works of the Israeli-born photographer Shai Kremer. Kremers large panoramas and other works are featured in the exhibition Infected Landscape: Works by Shai Kremer, which runs through July 17, 2010 at FMOPA.
Born in 1974, Kremer photographs a Middle East landscape that is scarred by the warfare of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The wounded, infected landscape is a stand-in for the war-torn lives of people on both sides. Kremer does not take a pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian stand. Instead, he takes pro-human stand. He makes the point that people are part of the earth, and any wound on the environment is also a wound on the human condition.
In 1991, I started photographing the ominous imprint of the military on the Israeli landscape - and, reflectively, on Israeli society, he writes. My images mirror the psychological trauma and resulting ambivalence of living in a world of friction. They also warn against the vestiges of warfare becoming a permanent fixture in peoples lives.
In his photographic series Fallen Empires, Kremer meditates on the land that holds history without an end.
He finds an Arabic trench from the 1948 War hiding under a Roman arch, a British Mandate airplane hangar in the middle of an active Israeli landing spot, a Canaanite cave facing a Crusader fort. The recycling of these spaces, he writes, from one conqueror to the next, shows how most of the empires of history tried to conquer and rule this land, with one similar outcome: they failed.
Kremers work is in the permanent collections of Harvard University, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The exhibition is sponsored by Nina and Burton Bernstein; Fraser and Maria Himes; Jane Levin and Robert Lynn; Charles Schwab, Inc.; Linda Saul-Sena and Mark Sena with contributions from Maureen and Douglas Cohn and Blossom Liebowitz. The show comes from the Julie Saul Gallery, New York City.