Stephen Shore: From Galilee to the Negev

Stephen Shore. Phaidon, $100 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7148-6706-9
Pioneering color photographer Shore (American Surfaces) presents photos taken in Israel and the West Bank over the past decade in this contemplative, large-scale tome. The images are in Shore's signature "banal" style; empty landscapes, candid street scenes, archaeological sites, and other quiet scenes dominate. Interspersed throughout are essays by writers familiar with the region, ranging from journalists to scholars, to chef Yotam Ottolenghi. Each essay weaves personal experience, world history, religion, and politics together and uses a single photo or set of photos as a starting point for a deeper reflection on this complicated region. The result is both informative and engaging. For example, a single photograph of a trompe l'oeil painting of a jailed soldier inspires artist Steve Sabella to discuss theories of identity, the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian fighters, and Sabella's own experience as a hostage. Though only a few photos are given this treatment, the implication that each seemingly innocuous image contains a charged story is powerful. As such, the essays illuminate this studied collection without overwhelming their subdued nature. 800 color illus. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
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