New angles on Tel Aviv

Looking Up: Photographers capture the city's architecture from odd perspectives.

bauhaus bldg 298.88 (photo credit: Carmela Tomer)
bauhaus bldg 298.88
(photo credit: Carmela Tomer)
Photography might not be alchemy, but the pictures in "100 Years of Architecture," a new exhibition in the Shalom Tower, transform the city of Tel Aviv into almost unrecognizable formal compositions. These pictures do not suggest a narrative or make a clear statement about the city's buildings. Rather, they allow the viewer to see familiar and tucked-away corners of Tel Aviv from an unconventional perspective. "100 Years of Architecture" presents the visual diversity of Tel Aviv's urban landscape through the work of more than 30 contemporary photographers. The show juxtaposes images of crumbling, 100-year-old structures next to ultra-modern landmarks such as the Azrieli Towers. However, the images are anything but straightforward. For example, one shot of an old building might be a reflection in a roadside puddle the photographer happened to notice while walking by. While residents of Tel Aviv might enjoy trying to locate the obscured yet famous structures in many of the photos, that doesn't seem to be the main point of the exhibit. The photographers here are dealing primarily with artistic issues of form such as how to compose a picture, take advantage of available light and color, and optimize the power of contrast. It just happens that the geometry - and atrophy - of Tel Aviv architecture is handy raw material for photographers to explore the formal qualities of their craft. Migdal Shalom: Rehov Ahad Ha'am 9, Tel Aviv. The exhibition opened Thursday, May 11, and will remain on display through July 11 in the street-level lobby. Telephone: (03) 510-0337 or (03) 517-7304. The building is open Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. until noon. Entrance is free.