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Dafna Talmor

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | Biography

Untitled, 2007
Untitled, 2007
An obsessive preoccupation with home and identity defines and informs my art practice. Since 1998, photography has been my main medium. Perhaps because I moved a great deal throughout my life, the one thing I could always take with me was the camera itself, and through it, the objects and memories it created. That was how I transported my home, how I dealt with constantly changing my surroundings. When I record something with my camera, it releases the anxiety of leaving a place, loved ones, things. Though the photograph never replaces the ‘real’ thing, it fills the hole the real thing leaves behind. Even though my photographs are staged, there is an element of spontaneity to them. In the Obstructed Views series, the photographs are triggered by the space itself. The physical and psychological relationship between inside and outside, the relationship between a subject and
Untitled, 2004
Untitled, 2004
their space, and how one affects the other are themes I have explored in depth for a number of years. The window, a recurring element in this series, suggests the outside world as it paradoxically extends the view. For even though the window offers this extension, it is also what denies the viewer the knowledge of what lies outside.In past work, the obstruction to what was outside was complete.However, in more recent work, the interplay
Untitled, 2005
Untitled, 2005
If Only, 2003
If Only, 2003
Untitled, 2004
Untitled, 2004
between the window and the view has been extended. Though I have started exposing what is outside the window, this outside remains hazy. Something is always in the way of obtaining the full view. This obstruction serves as a metaphor for looking and refers to what we can and cannot see in a number of ways. In addition, the view outside does not provide enough information to give specificity. Instead, it acts as a projected space and state of mind. In Kiss on the Neck, a series of four self-portraits taken with my grandfather in his old age home shortly before his death, a sense of urgency is played out through the photographic act. The re-enactment of a shared ritual and blessing—a kiss on the nape of the neck—that took place each time we met, is performed for and witnessed by the camera. Though it is I who leaves my grandfather on this occasion, soon he will leave me. I am clutching onto him both physically and metaphorically, for I anticipate his absence. As a result of this series, an ongoing body of work continues to explore a familial bond and intimacy. However, the work has become more sculptural in order to strip it further of emotion. As Francette Pacteau writes,
‘All your photographs evidence scrupulously careful arrangements in space. I say ‘bodies’ rather than ‘people’ because it is the graphic ‘mass’ formed by bodies that impresses me before any anecdotal ‘story’ may be attributed.”

Using my Subjects as stand-ins with the aim of removing a kind of subjectivity, is what I aspire to achieve through my photographic work. I am in no way interested in talking of a specific place or for that matter, (as I continue to use myself and people close to me in my photographs), about people as individuals.
Dead Sea, 2000
Dead Sea, 2000

The aim of my practice revolves around bridging the gap and maintaining the precarious balance between the autobiographical and the universal.

*All images on this page are from the "Obstructed Views" series
United Kingdom


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