Tel Aviv between ten thirty and eleven

[ Tel Aviv | 25th May 2006 ]


A brief urban photographic walk which visits Hayarkon and Ben Yehuda Streets, starting and ending at the American Embassy, but excluding the latter by special request of the security personnel...

Hayarkon and Ben Yehuda Streets run parallel to each other, just behind the beach front. The area is a mixture of hotels which range all the way up and down the star scale, office and residential buildings, the ground level being occupied by shops, services and restaurants. There are large urban blocks between the two streets, subdivided by alleys and courtyards. The mixture of activities results in the constant comings and goings of local inhabitants and visitors.

This photographic work uses the "gutworks" and "ephemerality" techniques to explore the complicity between habitat and population, in a neighbourhood with an amicable aspect.

As I was walking back to Hayarkon Street, a man, his wife and their small, nervous dog came shooting through a gateway right on top of me. "What are you photographing?" he asked me. He was in a fine state of excitement, and told me how they had two cats which had just given birth to kittens: both mothers were feeding the offspring of each. The veterinarian had even brought along an ailing, abandonned kitten, which had joined the happy family.

I proposed to him that they should name the two cats "Israel" and "Palestine", as a symbol for hope. He became angry, "Israel must exist as a state for the Jewish people", he replied. When I suggested that perhaps it was time for the Palestinians to have the same right, it appeared to him an abstraction, outside the perimeter of his cares. We said goodbye and parted.