Yaakov Israel: The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey at Impressions Gallery

© Yaakov Israel _ Morning Prayer, The Dead Sea Hilton, 2006.

© Yaakov Israel _ Morning Prayer, The Dead Sea Hilton, 2006.

Impressions Gallery presents “The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey” by Yaakov Israel.

As recent events demonstrate, Israel and its surrounding territories have been an area of contention and dispute since the country’s establishment in 1948. In this timely and highly relevant exhibition, Yaakov Israel takes us on a geographical and metaphorical journey across this complex land, offering one man’s view- point of the nation that shares his name.

The exhibition’s title was inspired by a chance encounter with a Palestinian man who rode past whilst Yaa- kov was photographing near the Dead Sea. The photographer says, ‘It was only after developing the photo- graphic plate that I realised I had encountered my ‘Messiah’: in Orthodox Jewish tradition, the Messiah (the Prophet) will arrive riding on a white donkey’.

Yaakov’s large scale meticulously detailed images encourage us to appreciate the multi-faceted political and social state of this contested region, offering us a highly personal insight into spaces often overlooked by the world’s media. His images evoke an incomplete utopia: an abandoned, overgrown swimming pool in the Northern Judean Desert indicates long standing neglect, whilst a disconcerting armed presence at the Dead Sea Hilton reveals the tension now commonplace in this landscape of uncertainty. Yaakov’s images are filled with allusions to barriers, both physical and metaphoric, which serve as a constant reminder of the unsettled and indeterminate nature of the country itself.

Elsewhere, Yaakov reveals the peace and tranquility that also exists, with images of everyday occurances such as gathering herbs in Haifa, or a moment of solitude bathing in the Sea of Galilee. These sights appear so idyllic one would be forgiven for not realising that beyond the frame, a deep-seated conflict rages on.

Yaakov Israel (Jerusalem, 1974) lives and works in Israel. He graduated in 2002 from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem and has since taught photography at some of the most prominent art and photography schools and colleges in Israel including the Bezalel Academy. His work has been the subject of solo and group shows and he has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally including galleries in the USA, Italy and the UK. Yaakov Israel’s photographs have also been featured in international journals, including TIME LightBox (USA), Photo District News (USA), hotshoe (UK) and PRIVATE (France). The pho- tographer was recently awarded the PHotoEspaña Descubrimientos (New Discoveries) PHE12 Award (2012) for The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey, where the jury panel included Impressions’ Direc- tor Anne McNeill. Yaakov is represented by Margaret Street Gallery in London and Oslo8, contemporary photography gallery in Basel.

Credits The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey is courtesy of Margaret Street Gallery, London.

Margaret Street Gallery is an independent art gallery founded in April 2012. In the heart of Fitzrovia, central London, the gallery specialises in the photographic and moving image. Dedicated to all forms of the medium, Margaret Street Gallery aims to offer thought-provoking and diverse exhibitions. The gallery sup- ports established photographers - such as Dorothy Bohm, co-founder of The Photographers’ Gallery, and actively promotes emerging and new talent - such as Yaakov Israel.

Impressions Gallery promotes photography that gets people looking, thinking and talking. Established in 1972 as one of the first specialist photographic galleries in Europe, it has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independent venues for contemporary photography. Its new building in Centenary Square Bradford, which opened in August 2007, is the first public-funded specially built gallery for photography in the UK. Impressions is funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire, and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. http://www.impressions-gallery.com

Exhibition courtesy of Margaret Street Gallery, London.

Venue: Impressions Gallery, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1SD

Open: 18 January - 13 April 2022

Artist Talk with Yaakov Israel Saturday 16 February 2013, 2pm to 3pm
Artist Reception with Yaakov Israel Saturday 16 February 2013, 3pm to 4pm

For more information visit: http://www.impressions-gallery.com


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