Aya Lurie writes about Assaf Shaham in “Don’t move! Smile! I’m Shooting”

July 3, 2014

Assaf Shaham
Don’t move! Smile! I’m Shooting.

by Dr. Aya Lurie

Let’s see carefully how Assaf Shaham operates: He cuts and shoots his images before
photographing them, sometimes he deforms the images and sometimes abolishes it or even
worse – undermines the very presence of the photographer himself…leaving the image to be
created automatically by the simulating act of two scanners – one on top of the other (image
no.)

Way such “Dadaistic spirit”, and subverted acts are needed while dealing with photography
today? What is there that makes him go against so radically? The puzzle grows since the
works themselves remains in a strange way unharmed, containing gentle beauty and even a
sense of humor.

In his works, Assaf Shaham explores the complex field of photography on varies levels – in
our era of hyper –technology, malty – images and endless image makers… his questions and
ideas suggests self-reflection in the field in which he operates. Shaham investigations
concerns with the ontological status of the medium, its technical boundaries and the
photographer unique position as an artist.

In his artist statement he wrote: “When we look at a photograph, mostly we are only left
with the photgraphed object, the act of photography is almost never present. I try to
activate an inverted mechanism one which aspires to empty the object from its original
meaning and from what it symbolizes one which leaves the object as a facade. A mechanism
which actually puts the act of photography itself and its manners of production in the spot
light.”

Thinking of it, we can interpret his practice as the last act of despair, protest or hope trying
to embody the photographic inner and outer levels… before its rapid disappearance into
every day triviality and abrasion of its means.

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