Ten People I nearly knew

"[The photographer] must deduce who the subject is, to deduce spontaneously his character, his intimate life, his habits; the photographer must do more than photograph; he must 'biographe.'"[1]

These ghost-like figures have been living within me for many years. They have claimed a place for themselves, taken on their own personalities and desires. Like Ovid's Pygmalion, the creatures of my creation then became self-controlled beings with their own fate. I am their father, their friend, and sometimes their adversary.

These figures give expression to stereotypical conceptions (mine and the viewers') and individual memory processes. They were constructed from fragments of memory and impressions of people I meet in the course of a day, or from memories that have remained etched in my mind in the flood of visual images from years past. The portrait, in either case, has given birth to an image with its own personality. At this point, it was inevitable that human relationships would develop.

In this project, I explore the limits of the digital medium, which, like the figures I created, is a hybrid, located in the shared space between painting, and photography and visual design--the area that bridges art and technology. I carefully kept the visual features of the photographic language. Yet, while gazing at the images, the secure sense of "reality" that they allegedly project is disturbed, undermined.

What are the limits of reality when the signifier is detached from the signified object, when that object no longer signifies concrete reality?

Asaf Gam Hacohen, photographer and a photography teacher in Camera Obscure art school. Graduate of Film and Digital Media Practical Engineer, College of the Negev.  B.F.A. Art and Film, Sapir College. Current M.A studies at THE Cultural Studies faculty of Cultural Studies, Tel Aviv University.

[1] Disdéri, from a manual for portrait photographers, Renseignements photographiques indispensable a tous, 1855, cited in Robert A. Sobieszek, Ghost in the Sell: Photography and the Human Soul, 1850-2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and MIT Press, 1999, p.19.