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Itamar Freed & Kristina Chan, William Morris

Installation photography @Youval Hai

Exhibition overview:

Itamar Freed and Kristina Chan have been working together as a creative duo since 2018. Freed has a background in photography, Chan in printing. Their works deal with the processes that occur in nature and on the relation between culture and nature, depicting images that range from the realistic to the fantastic. On a wide platform in the center of the gallery lies the sculpture Man and Beast by the American glass artist William Morris.

Freed and Chan begin from a photographic viewpoint. Seemingly, their photographs are clear and direct, allowing the eye to recognize the objects it encounters: a tree, tiger, horses, peacock, the jungle – yet in fact, it sees an illusion: the tree isn’t a tree, the jungle isn’t there. The nature appearing before us is a seductive, manipulated and processed image. As in all photography, the occurrences captured by the camera form the basis of the image, yet they also serve as fertile ground for modification and intervention. The photographs on display aren’t a documentation of nature but present an interpretation of representations of nature, the elasticity of the image and the ways in which different cultures approach nature.  

The sites and references of the photographs are important for reading the works. They link the dichotomous terms East and West, wild and tamed, balanced and tempestuous. Several of the photographs show remote nature reserves, in which nature runs wild and thick, while others present places in which nature is organized by culture, such as zoos or botanical gardens. The artists rely on traditional Japanese aesthetics, as in the reference to the cherry tree blossom on the almond tree, which became an Israeli symbol. The photographs also refer to iconic European artworks, such as George Stubs large-scale horse painting Whistlejacket, displayed at the National Gallery in London.

The combination of photography methods and experimental printing techniques and the use of varied sources of inspiration create a unique aesthetic. It raises questions on the evolution of the link between cultures and the nature surrounding them and the multifaceted way in which they represent it – radiant, fantastic, mysterious, yet also conquered and tamed. Earthly and transcendental.

Dates: September 20 - December 15, 2022

Venue: Litvak Contemporary

Photography: Youval Hai

Performace + Gallery talk

Performance by Joanna Jones

Artistic management: Dar Mousaffir

Gallery talk with Itamar Freed 

November 26, 2022

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