Yuval Yairi - Photography2 copy

© Yuval Yairi, from the series Forevermore

Yuval Yairi - Photography copy

© Yuval Yairi, from the series Forevermore

“Yuval Yairi’s (b. 1961) body of photographs, Forevermore, focuses on the Hansen Hospital in Jerusalem, the abode of Hansen’s disease patients, an illness which had erroneously been identified with biblical leprosy. Originally called Jesus Hilfe, the hospital was founded in 1887 by Protestant missionaries from Germany on a remote hillside, nowadays the Talabiya neighborhood. The massive stone building was designed by architect and researcher of Jerusalem, Conrad Schick (1822-1901). It represents late 19th-century Jerusalem architecture, combining European and Middle Eastern styles. The structure contains evidence of the social and political transformations the city has undergone in the past century. A small part of the compound now serves as an outpatient clinic for treatment of the disease, while most of it stands unused; some of the rooms remain as left by the last patients and staff to inhabit them.
Yairi photographs the leper house with a digital video camera in still mode, constructing the image from hundreds (at times thousands) of frames. The pictures are taken in the course of several hours, during which the artist slowly and accurately documents every detail in the space from a single position, like the viewer’s observation movement upon entering the space. He selects details, which he then combines into a final unified photographic image containing a wealth of information, one that no single still photograph can contain. Thus, in fact, Yairi overcomes the temporal and spatial limitations of conventional photography.
Yairi’s works, mainly interiors, deconstruct the cohesive space swiftly captured by the eye and the camera. He juxtaposes one image with another, frame with frame, so that the spaces which are mostly small (a room or a section thereof) appear wide and outspread as in David Hockney’s 1980s works, and especially the Grand Canyon series. Hockney creates a photo-collage comprised of a large number of individual photographs laid side by side, so that the landscape reflected in them is panoramic, wide-angled, containing several concurrent viewpoints and perspectives. Hockney thus transforms the landscape and the frozen photograph into something dynamic that conveys the experience of the monumental scope. Yairi, on the other hand, opts, from the outset, for an intimate, domestic space which he deconstructs into hundreds and thousands of images, so that the viewer loses the sense of the small space. Via deconstruction and reconstruction, both artists attempt to address the experience of the space, to photograph the unphotographable and trace the viewer’s movement in the space.”

Raz Samira (To read full article click here)

To see more of Yuval’s work click here

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