Critics’ Picks

Roi Kuper, Ein HaShlosha, 2014, ink-jet print, 33 x 33".

Jerusalem

Roi Kuper

Israel Museum
Derech Ruppin 11
February 11–August 29, 2015

In April 2014, Israeli artist Roi Kuper began working on a series of panoramic photographs intending to capture the city of Gaza from the direction of the four winds. Shot from six different locations, including Kibbutzes surrounding the Gaza Strip, one of which the artist was born on, the resulting series “Gaza Dream,” 2014, manifests Kuper’s signature style, with each panorama as a bisected horizontal landscape. In the lower half of the photographs are fields, dunes, or hills, and in the upper half there’s a clear blue sky, making for a serene view. The images’ foregrounds are Israeli territories—detailed and focused—while out in the distance is Gaza, blurry and gray. The city appears as a sort of mirage, possibly a metaphor for the limited view Israelis have of their neighbors.

Last summer, Israel initiated Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip with an aim to destroy the Palestinian underground tunnel system—which penetrated beneath the Israeli fields and Kibbutzes pictured here—used for making cross-border raids. As the conflict settled, Kuper returned to the same locations to finalize his series. In Ein HaShlosha, 2014, Gaza appears just below the horizon, still distant and obscure. The Israeli fields in the foreground are dry and the vegetation burnt, yet the land is newly plowed as if to conceal and move on from what has recently occurred above and below ground.