I practice direct photography, gazing at prosaic sights with intent of creating clear images out of them. An overfilled ashtray becomes a galaxy, a fly trap becomes a microscopic, dense sight of all sorts of life forms, dust accumulating on persimmon trees seems like paper cutouts and a worn out mattress cover seems to be torn underpants. At the same time, my photography seeks to capture the image just before it disintegrates, before it becomes a texture or a surface. In many of my photographs the image is established at the very midst of the disintegration process. A tree trunk on its way to being sawdust, an ice pile before melting into the ground, a photograph that was hung after passing through the shredder, an ashtray spilled and scattered, an oil stain on the road – all these turn the photographs into a clotting agent that holds the image just before it disappears.
In addition, my work deals with a constant oscillation between the flat, which intensifies the two-dimensional nature of the photograph and its effort to expand into the third dimension, into the values within optical photography.
Common Pause was created solely through analog and chemical procedures, working with cameras in medium formats and different types of films and development procedures. Working in this manner, with chemical and analog procedures, I gain limitations that allow me to pause in front of objects photographed before and after I photograph them, If I choose to do so. I also carefully build the density of the compositions in my photographs.
Tal Ben Avi lives and works in Israel.
See more of his work here.