The third witness
A Jewish wedding requires the presence of two witnesses standing close to the bride and groom during the wedding celebration in order to validate their marriage.
Often, the witnesses are so anxious to see what they should see, that they forbid me any approach and prevent me from taking any picture. In order to get them to give me the opportunity to go through and seize the precious moments of the religious ceremony, I like to throw them a joke: I too am a witness, I am …
… the third witness.
But the truth is that I am a witness of a very different kind !
Israël Rothmann created a series of images depicting chassidim hovering in an anonymous background that affords them a postmodern context while not alienating them.Israël Rothmann created a series of images depicting chassidim hovering in an anonymous background that affords them a postmodern context while not alienating them.
Israel is working in accuracy and building a world.
His action is the opposite of that of the painter standing in front of an empty canvas : Israel leaves photographs full of details, anecdotes, events.
In fact his task starts upstream : in his daily activity as an event photographer in the orthodox jewish community.
Throughout his work, and even after handing over it to the customers, he is busy searching for interesting characters, it pulls out of the load, refines, isolates.
The result thus obtained is minimalist, precise in the transmission of the message to the observer.
It is also surprising for secular eyes : they find in these orthodox Jews lightness and explosive joy, sometimes freeing them from norms.
The characters float in an empty space, white.
They are like ballet dancers, their figures are aesthetic, charming.
The documentary aspect of the events fades away, and finally the photographs are transformed so as to testify only of the Israel’s unique look : a concentrated look on the individual, which of individual becomes true icon. On the innumerable events he photographs in the exercise of his daily profession, he offers a different perspective, a new perspective.
Alicia Shahaf, artiste.