Jewish museum of switzerland, basel, 29 march - 14 july 2019


ISREALITIES - Seven Photographic Journeys

"Peace Now"- Demonstration, Jerusalem, February 2001 © Thomas Dworzak / Magnum Photos

About the exhibition

Ever since 1897, when the journalist and activist Theodor Herzl declared, “At Basel, I founded the Jewish State”, the social, territorial, and cultural transformation in Israel has fascinated the world. As a result, the region’s soaring ambitions and extreme conflicts have been under a quasi-permanent media spotlight; yet intimate perspectives rarely emerge above the broader din and clamor.

CLAIRbyKahn has chosen to explore the nuances and subtleties of the Israel experience by bringing together seven photographers who have given us profoundly personal visions of the country. And what better place to present these visions than where the journey began more than a century ago?

The Isrealities exhibition, which has been curated by CLAIRbyKahn, will be shown at the Jewish Museum of Switzerland in Basel from 29 March to 14 July 2019. The exhibition features works by seven acclaimed photographers—Philippe Halsman, Erich Hartmann, David ‘CHIM’ Seymour, Micha Bar-Am, Patrick Zachmann, and Thomas Dworzak, who are all members of the Magnum Photos agency, as well as that of Pulitzer Prize-winner Oded Balilty—who have used their own methods to tell original stories about a region that has been the cradle of so many hopes and that has been buffeted by such violence.

“The idea is to show seven subjective and completely unique visions of a place that has almost been rendered banal by the deluge of media coverage,” says Anna-Patricia Kahn, the director of the CLAIRbyKahn gallery. “Having these different perspectives side by side is an invitation to both reflect on our understandings of the past and to consider possible new horizons.”

The 60 prints included in the Isrealities exhibition are not a chronological description of events that unfolded over the past eight decades, but rather a dialogue between the perspectives of seven artists who have been fascinated, enticed, disappointed, and even fatally wounded by this ever-compelling region.

Isrealities has been curated by Anna-Patricia Kahn of the CLAIRbyKahn Gallery. All of the photographers are represented by CLAIRbyKahn. Purchase inquiries are welcome at anna@clairbykahn.com

Some images from the exhibition