Exhibit Review: Local Testimony

Exhibit Review Local Te

By YONATAN SILVERMAN
December 27, 2009 03:13
1 minute read.
chinese photo

chinese photo. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Local Testimony/ World Press Photo Eretz Israel Museum Tel Aviv The tradition of photojournalism in photography goes back almost as far as photography itself. During the US Civil War, for example, Matthew Brady organized a team of photographers to document the historic battles and terrible carnage. Their equipment was primitive and unwieldy but they were professionals and they persevered, producing a priceless historical record of the war. The art of photojournalism leaped light years forward in the 1930s. Miniature cameras with 35-mm. film and fast shutter speeds freed photographers from using static tripods, and the result was indeed a burst of freedom and fresh creativity in the entire art of photography. The birth and success of Life magazine in the US is directly attributable to the new photographic technology of the day. Photojournalism became synonymous with the evocation of humanity and human understanding. The legendary photojournalism exhibition Family of Man, curated by Edward Steichen in the late 1950s - and the exhibition catalogue which is in print to this day - are the high water marks of photojournalism in the late 20th century. The present exhibition of photojournalism at Tel Aviv's Eretz Israel Museum gets low marks, however. An annual affair at the museum since 2003, the exhibition combines a showing of the work of Israeli photojournalists - dubbed Local Testimony - with the photographs of World Press Photo, a Dutch organization. In short, the stress in this extremely disappointing exhibition is not on humanity or human understanding but rather on sensationalism - death, suffering and chaos in living color. Instead of striving in the least to look behind the extremely dramatic events they depict and evoke even an ounce of human feeling or pathos, the photos on exhibit are a mélange of color and pattern for their own sake, with a clear voyeuristic stress on violence and the grotesque. In addition, one set of images in the Local Testimony section contains a caption that distorts and falsifies IDF security procedures in the territories. For this and for a generally ugly and inhumane photojournalism exhibit the Eretz Israel Museum must account for itself. The exhibit runs through January 16. Yonatan Silverman is a professional Hebrew to English translator in Tel Aviv. He is the author of For the World to See: The Life of Margaret Bourke White (New York, 1983), and publishes an email newsletter called Sartaba.

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA