Critics’ Picks

Adam Golfer, Ben Gurion's House (Tel Aviv), 2015, digital C-Print, 30 x 40".

New York

Adam Golfer

Booklyn Art Gallery
37 Greenpoint Avenue 4th Floor
July 10–September 5, 2015

Adam Golfer spent much of the last decade working commercially, taking pictures for magazines and newspapers. His current exhibition centers around A House Without a Roof, 2011-, his new monograph and the half decade worth of research and travel through which it was envisioned. It includes a 2014 film, Router, but the show’s core is a series of ten large-scale digital C-prints culled from Golfer’s four years of travel and interviews in Israel and Palestine. Although the artist is a careful reader of spatial theory (especially Goldsmiths’ Eyal Weizman), here the pictures elide didacticism, yielding a body of work that oscillates between the panoramic and talismanic.

These pictures radiate desert light but convey a desolated surrealism: One shows a scale-model “museum” into which one enters standing on a plastic chair. Elsewhere, David Ben-Gurion’s library is brought into stark relief with the aid of a well-deployed flash. The medium-format photographs in A House Without a Roof are formally stirring—even beautiful—but their true strength is their capacity to cut through the rational layers of a contested history, visualizing it in small moments and sidelong glances. Some have argued, of course, that aura can create a gulf between viewer and object. But here, Golfer uses it to draw us nearer to a topography that thrums in minds of many but so often seems beyond our grasp.