You're Gorgeous, You're Mad

Video installation. 2019

The presentation of self, usually in an attempt of creating a certain impression, is inevitably hiding essential parts in our traits, thoughts and feelings. This series is an expression of my desire to reveal a complex and whole image of one’s self-perception.

 

To examine this theme, I invited a group of international artists during an Artist Residency program in Virginia, to participate in a series of self-confronting acts.

 

The complete installation presents an inner dialogue between two contradicting aspects of each individuals’ personality and brings to the fore the inner tension between the “idealised self” and one’s actual self-perception.

Links:   Text  |  Short Clip  |  Work Process  

 

Blank Box

Photographs. 2018

Two white cubes were built for this project. They served as a platform for a series

of portraits of local people from Cape Charles, Virginia, who were photographed in and around their town.

 

The boxes may be a stage, perhaps a symbol; an object encompassing multiple meanings and elements which relate to both belonging and foreignness, connection and separation.

 

The work was created as part of the artist residency “Experimental Film Virginia”.

 

You Don't Have To Do A Thing

Video installation. 2016-2017

In this video installation, I decided to examine people’s reactions to sounds, associated with three different major cultures and religions in Jerusalem today: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

 

Each one of the participants sat in a dark room and listened to the same soundtrack while I was filming his/her physical reactions. From their mimic and gestural reactions of refusal and approval – smile, boredom, rejection, enjoyment, grin –

I created a series of video portraits.

 

The work involved the participation of individuals from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, which were complex and multi-religious. These remained hidden from the audience, thus allowing a wide range of interpretations to arise.

 

 

Links:   Text  |  Short Clip   Installation view |  Video stills

 

A Lasting Faith

Photographs. 2014-2015

This series of nocturnal photographs was created over several years during which I spent time with Orthodox priests and nuns. I accompanied them through ceremonies, rituals and personal moments, across the Israeli and the Palestinian territories.

 

I focused on night scenes, lit by candlelight or moonlight, while depicting "continuous moments", where the subject is engaged in a long and repetitive act, producing a type of aesthetics and content that are referring to the history of religion as well as to the history of art. The resulting images portray a present-day minority which is an inseparable part of the history of the area and yet largely unknown and inaccessible to most of the local public.

 

The work was presented in a solo exhibition at The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg and is now a part of the museum's permanent collection.

Links:  Text  |  Photographs  |  Exhibition  |  Interview    

            

The River

Short film. 2016

The film captures a series of poignant moments experienced by Christian

Orthodox pilgrims as they emerge from the Jordan River during the week

of Easter. The pilgrims, coming from five different countries, share their

experiences and speak about their faith and their emotions.

 

The project was displayed at The Byzantine and Christian Museum,

Athens, Greece in 2016.

People Of The Near East

Photographs. Ongoing

For nearly nine years I have been photographing the residents of the Near

East, Israelis, Lebanese, Palestinians and others in an attempt to record the

faces of the area through various challenging times.  

© 2019 by Dafna Tal. All Rights Reserved.