Horrifying heat waves, torrential rains and even wars don’t stop the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv. But the coronavirus crisis has brought Israel’s non-stop city to a standstill – and the results are a sight to behold.
“As an artist who deals a lot with works that involve urbanity and the movement of people, in recent days I went out to roam the streets of Tel Aviv and sites that are bustling during regular times,” photographer Amir Chodorov tells ISRAEL21c.
“The days I wandered the streets flooded me with a sense of sadness on the one hand and on the other a mutual longing between me and the buildings,” he adds.
“The sadness and the feelings of emptiness mainly surfaced for me at the Magen David Square on Allenby, where usually the mix of people and characters brings up a very special energy, and where the colorful chairs that have been left desolate caused me a pang.”
Chodorov, a former Israeli fighter pilot of 25 years, has been a keen photographer from a young age. He specializes in urban landscapes such as churches and synagogues, and has now turned his lens on Tel Aviv’s lonely landmarks.
His images are made by joining parts of the dozens of the photographs he takes at each site into one puzzle-like work that highlights many details.
What particularly struck Chodorov on his journey to document the stillness now lying over Tel Aviv, he says, were its shopping malls.
“In regular times we hear in them a babble that we love of children running around, people arguing and of course the bustling cafes,” Chodorov says.
“However, what was revealed before me while they stood empty is their inherent beauty, with urban lines and architecture that can’t be seen when they’re full.”
To Chodorov’s mind, all the places he photographed are yearning to have their regular on goings and crowds back.
“There’s no specific place that I’d like to see coming back to life. I think that they all miss the hustle and bustle, and especially the energy that completes urbanity together with the people,” he concludes.