The series of photographs reveal Aviv Naveh’s interest in how a group of people acts in a given location. Without a guiding hand, individuals gather to form a community and choreograph acts governed by ritual. The solitary person is governed by tribal laws that impart their culture to him through a specific code of behavior, suited to that place and that time.
Mourners assembled for a funeral at Har Menuhot (Mount of Rest) cemetery in Jerusalem, young runners train on gravel hills, or teenagers partying in the middle of the wilderness - the shared action is what unites the strangers into a seemingly uniform collective.
Naveh’s photographs display spectacular panoramas of social rituals, both deliberate and random, that he came across during his travels throughout the world. These landscapes, in which the figures seem planted, even if they were randomly found, testify to the human need for human contact, domestication of nature, and creation of a community group that for a time abates the sense of solitude. Even when members remain strangers to one another, belonging is perceived as “natural”, and obeying laws is an “existential necessity”.
In addition to the enigmatic nature of acting within a closed community, there is great uniqueness and beauty inherent in it.
Aviv Naveh graduated with honors from the Photography department of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem. Naveh recently won Sotheby's Young Artist award, as part of the Fresh Paint 2 Art Fair, held in The Tachana (The Station) in March 2009.
As part of the award, the photograph “Sinai” (whose last copy is displayed as part of the current exhibition) was sold at a public auction of Israeli art in Sotheby's New York branch in November 2009, at a record price for the artist, and twice the original high-end estimate for the photograph.
Hezi Cohen Gallery
15 Frishman St., Tel Aviv Jaffa