Shai Ignatz: Goldi
Shai Ignatz's exhibition, Goldi, spanning twenty years of intense photographic practice in stills and video, this comprehensive show—Ignatz's first museum exhibition—features a wide range of works, from his beginnings in the art world as a student to the present, including many works making their public debut.
Ignatz first came into public notice with the formative series Independence Park shot in Tel Aviv in 2000, addressing issues pertaining to identity and gender, social detachment and solitude. He was among the first photographers in Israel to place homosexual figures at the center of their work, thus paving the way for many artists after him. He has since created many important photographic series, including WIZO Women, Monsieur Léri, and Shaul, which have accumulated into a substantial body of work. Alongside the photographs, the exhibition features video works exploring the relationship between photographer and subject.
Ignatz's oeuvre is centered on portraits, but the circumstances of their creation in his work and the nature of the encounter between the photographer and his sitters transform this genre into a charged arena: Ignatz contacts his subjects online, in gay dating sites, or randomly through acquaintances, so that his first encounter with the model occurs in front of the camera. It is usually a one-time session, injecting a dimension of uncertainty. Most of the subjects are photographed in their homes, in their private space. Ignatz has developed a unique personal language: direct photography, in broad daylight, based on a relationship between photographer and sitter occurring at a given place and time. He photographs people who differ from each other in age, ethnicity, gender, and geographical location, exposing the ravages of time on their faces and bodies, and presenting them in their physical and mental nakedness, with the camera serving as both a pretext for the session and a shield.
The exhibition was made possible through the support of: Parasite, Outset and Mifal Hapais