Shai Kremer

Broken Promised Land

April 10 - May 10, 2008

The Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of photographs by Shai Kremer. Since 1999 Kremer has set about documenting the "ominous imprint of the military on the Israeli landscape- and reflectively, on Israeli society." Working in color in a beautiful documentary style, Kremer's vision is both clinical and emotional. The traditional Zionist attitude of a poetic affinity and love of the scorched and often barren Israeli landscape blends with a critique of the remnants from Israel's longstanding violent struggles with Arab and Palestinian neighbors.

The exhibition features ten large color prints, including two panoramas. Subjects include the separation wall, training sites, detritus from past conflicts and the scars left on the landscape. These images collectively make up the vision of Israel as it is today. Instead of shock, Kremer cerates aesthetic, orderly compositions that parallel the defense mechanisms developed to protect Israelis from the powerful reality of the current political situation. As Kremer as stated, "my goal is to reveal how every piece of land has become infected with loaded sediments of the ongoing conflict."

A hardcover monograph entitled Infected Landscape: Israel, Broken Promised Land with 66 color plates will be officially published in September 2008 by Dewi Lewis publishing, but will be available in advance at the exhibition. Sylvia Wolf, photography scholar and director of the Henry Art Museum in Seattle has contributed an essay as well as Moshe Zuckerman.

Kremer's work was previously exhibited here in the group exhibition entitled Infected Landscape in 2006 along with Atta Kim, Misty Keasler and Anthony Haughey. Kremer lives and works in Israel and New York, and he received an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2005. Selections from his new work will have solo exhibitions this spring in Israel, Oslo and San Francisco in addition to New York. His work has been published widely including the cover of Afterimage in 2007 and the New York Times Magazine on assignment. His work is in many public collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, the Israel Art Museum (Jerusalem) and the Contemporary Art Museum (Tel Aviv), the Harvard University School of Business and the Rose Museum of Brandeis University.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including three scholarships or grants from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

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