Photography Exhibition for the Canada’s 150th Independence anniversary
Curated by Leore Yahel Ohad
Text by Guy Raz
Aliza Auerbach’s photographs have followed the trajectory of Israeli culture and art for approximately fifty years. With their unique and direct style, the photographs shed light on key landmarks in the local, private and collective memory. The photographs bring the viewer on a journey from birth to old age, from femininity to maternity, from pioneers to Holocaust survivors, and from national to personal landscapes. All these are documented under the blazing Mediterranean light, at the intersection of time and place, both secular and holy.
This intimate exhibition begins with the newborn body and the wrinkles of the aged body, and concludes with the soft folds of ripples in the sea. Between these, it documents the people and the stones, recounting a threefold journey into the life of a photographer, a people, and a land.
It is in these and other inspirational contexts that the featured photographs should be viewed, as they narrate the Israeli story with a sensitive, humane eye.
Aliza Auerbach began taking photographs in Jerusalem, and concluded in her birthplace, Haifa. These cities form the black demarcation of Auerbach’s full frame of man and landscape. The exhibition draws a metaphoric line between the major focal points in Auerbach’s work, which combines the documentation of love, life, stones and sea.
Auerbach (1940–2016) came from the waves of Hafia and in the late 1960’s began photographing the stones, landscapes, people, and beggars of Jerusalem. Later on, she took portraits for local and international press. Ideologically, she is associated with the straight-humanistic documentary photography and its 1950’s–1960’s influences in Israel, in the spirit of the exhibition “The Family of Man” (1955), and the photographic notion of the “decisive moment.” In the 1990’s, in the spirit of humanistic photography, Auerbach committed herself to the documentation of the place and the changing times via magnum opuses, henceforth focusing on long-term projects.