Rachel Neiman
April 4, 2014, Updated March 28, 2014

The International Photography Festival at Rishon LeZion opens tomorrow night with 1,000-plus pieces of work by 265 photographers in 30 shows held in 15 spaces — all in two weeks.

First established in 2012 by a group of photography-lovers working voluntarily to promote Israeli photography, the organizers describe the event as “a multi-platform annual meeting between the general public and the world of photography.”

“A conversation between the worlds of business, technology and art that examines the reality of contemporary photography and art in society, culture and community.”

This year, the Festival has taken as its theme “Photographic Memory” — the uneasy relationship between the photo-reality of events and the reality of events as we remember them — presenting individual and collaborative works by Israeli and international photographers. These include iconic documentary photos that are part of our collective memory…

Photo by Paul Goldman – Ben Gurion headstand

Dreamlike images that attempt to capture the fleeting impressions that form memories.

Photo by Jean Francois LePage – The Other Side of the Dream 15

There is special exhibition of prints selected from among the three thousand glass plates stored in the Photo Archive of the JNF-KKL. Curator Oded Balilti notes that all of these seemingly “real” photos had to be staged to some extent, due to the technical limitations of the glass plate medium, yet were used to portray the reality of life in the Land of Israel.


The phenomenon of photo-sharing communities is also presented in an exhibit entitled Face of the City in which Rishon LeZion residents were invited to submit photos online that were made into a huge, unique urban portrait.


Within the Festival framework there will be a seminar, “Preserving Intellectual Memory Through Photography,” on April 9-10, 2014, co-sponsored by the Judaica Division of the Harvard Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The conference’s goal is to create an opportunity for discussion of Israeli photography with a focus on the curating, preserving and accessing of public and private collections. The conference brings together curators, artists and researchers as well as experts in technology. Collections of works by relevant photographers will be exhibited during the conference.

The International Photography Festival of Rishon LeZion runs from April 5 through April 19, 2014.

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