The work South, expresses a critical point of view towards my surroundings. My first studio was on Shfela st. (meaning lowland in Hebrew) in south Tel-Aviv, an area known for prostitution and drugs. Encountering such a reality on a daily basis was gut churning on the one hand but also felt comforting in an unexpected way. Having my studio there, at the core of society's neglect, amongst the people and realities which are disregarded and pushed aside, and simply not looking away, had a comforting effect on me. The act of looking at the reality of south Tel-Aviv straight in the eye, enabled me to experience and embrace the pain, to be part of it. In this way, photographing such a reality and then drawing these scenes, enabled me to do something, this had a transformative effect on me.
The word South implies a particular regard of the social reality of class and division. Where there is a south, there is a north and a center, each dictating and charging the other with social meaning. In naming this work South, I expresses my position and feelings in relation to these social issues (ironic as I have no sense of direction). While I am placed above, privileged, this reality is not mine, I give voice to the way society looks down on those who are beneath those who are considered below. A dead rat outside my son's very expensive preschool, is transformed in this work into something else, not something to look away from but to look at. While I rearrange and edit the scene, the composition, I start playing, giving the rat a new background, attaching it to new narratives, stories. If you stare at the ugliness for a long time, really linger - things start to seem beautiful and they come to life.
Alongside images of day to day Tel-Aviv, you can see Japanese drawings and images woven into the drawings. For me, in a simplistic way, Japan signifies perfection, hundreds of years of culture and beauty. By placing Japanese images in the South Tel-Aviv scenery, I challenge what Is usually considered beautiful and desirable and what is not. I expose in this work beauty that is hidden in details, where it is least expected. South invites you to look in to daily realities of poverty, of neglect and linger there until the layers unfold and you find beauty where it is least expected, beauty that isn’t regimented but a kind of beauty that unfolds itself only to those who rid themselves of their many shields.