Rolling images, Ido Tsarfati
This visual reseach and ongoing work was a base to develope a Weaponized Household: Domestic Hybrids -Tsarfati’s research work at Forensic Architecture is an independent research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London. 09/2018
Ido Tsarfati (b.1984, Israel) earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2014) and had studied at École spéciale d’Architecture, Paris (2012). Ido has a Trust Certificate from The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel, Acre (2016) and is now doing an MA in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, London (2018).
Introducing a nameless project - temporary name: “rolling images”. This is an ongoing work that started sometime in 2012/13 of uploading images on a semi-daily basis using Ido Tsarfati‘s own Facebook page. This continues to this date so it’s been accumulated to a collection/archive that is accessible for viewing in a chronological (or a reverse chronological) order due to Facebook timeline.
The Images' common ground falls under the term Architecture with undermining its definition, which is Ido’s field of expertise.
The images show urban skylines, building details, window views, house “portraits”, street views, courtyards, highways, building/archaeological sites, construction\demolition, buildings top, balconies, crossroads, floor plans, sky view city, side of the road and so on; All the images are buildings. The geographical location is varied and includes Athens, Milan, Marseille, Paris, and London, yet the bulk of it is mainly focused in Israel/Palestine and features pictures from locations such as Jerusalem, Haifa, Ramallah, and Tel-Aviv. Those developed into the series Crops (2017) that became the subject of several paper maquettes: giving form to the patchy appearance of the Israeli built space and creating several archetypes of an unintentional aesthetics, making it into a distinct “style”. This work was exhibited in the 3rd Paper Biennale, On The Edge, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv*.
There are two sources of the images presented - photos taken by Ido at random walkabout and downloaded photos from the Internet to which credit to the creator is attached. If one dares to figure out the slippery surface of the real subject here, some visual literacy depicts: state-housing as well as luxury buildings, red-tiled rooftops, arched windows, window blinds, exposed Infrastructures, solar water heaters and satellite dishes, painted pavement, side of the road, urban vegetation of palm and banana trees as well as Pine and Oak... a blend of characteristics of religion and construction defects, crisp-modern geometric structure design and the West Bank barrier.
* full List of locations Alphabetically:
Al Quds/Jerusalem, Wadi Al Saliv, Barta'a, Bat Yam, Beirut, Beit Awwa Khirbat, Beit Jala, Bethlehem,Bir-a-Saba, Bnei Brak, Carmelia, Coastal Road, Damaskus, Ein Harod, Gaza, Gilboa, Givatayim, Gush Halav, Ha’Karmel , Haifa, Harish, Hebron, Holon, Jaffa/Yafo, Jaljulia, Jenin, Jericho, Kfar Aqab, Kfar Chabad, Kerem Shalom,Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, Mecca, Nazareth, Netanya, Og Almog, The Shfela, Tel Mond, Tulkarm, Tur'an Valley, Ramat Aviv, Ramat Gan, Ramat Ha׳Sharon, Rawabi, Umm al fahm, Umm Al-Hiran.
It's possible to read this project as a photography project and claim it is an inclusive archival collection that is both made by the artist and also appropriated by the artist.
I tend to think Ido is demonstrating internalization of The Civil Contract of Photography while using Architectural photography as a sub-genre to the point of parody. From an aesthetic point of view, the lavish detailed and highly technical photography that is associated with Architectural photography contradicts - Ido’s simple, lo-tech, blurry “Poor Image”.
Somewhere mid-project the images started to show more people in addition to the buildings - specifically Palestinian people. They are seen mostly in festive events, amusement parks, holidays, graduations, marathons, growing crops, playing during schoolyard recess, celebrating weddings, marketplace, with families and swimming in the sea. Everything that is not shown on the news as representation of Palestinians.
In addition to the photos, Ido takes himself and borrows from web sources works of other photographers like Eman Mohammed, David Rubinger, and Yehuda Eisenstark. He also features works by other artists like Ron Amir, Rona Yefman, Zoya Cherkassky, Arkadi Zaides, Nira Pereg, Nabil Anani and Ragnar Kjartansson. Those seem to echo his own work, perhaps some are an inspiration or just presents a similar idea in other mediums which are: performance, free painting, and staged photography.
Using Facebook as a platform to showcase this project is not an interesting choice. Facebook in 2017 is not used to upload pictures, as Instagram is the more natural platform to this end. The Facebook feed contains news, events, political discourse, birthday wishes, and a lot of other “fluff”., Facebook can be used as a valid tool to distribute, share, react to and use the location feature in a way that serves this project.It seems only natural for an ongoing work/research that can be labeled as a form of Social practice to be shared on social media and live not only in the academy and gallery. This allows for an online community to be exposed to this visual research in a slow and steady pace and develop an analysis based on that.
Interestingly enough, the most recent image uploaded shows almost no built space while groups and individuals seem to be the focus, coming full circle with the beginning of the project and in that way making a statement.
**Facebook is not a safe zone and Facebook Israel is known for being unsafe platform for Palestinian and Israelis to object to and critic the current government.