Between 2003 and 2006 I documented the settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The photographs focus on the architecture of the settlements, portraits of settlers, fences and roadblocks, and examine their relationship with the landscape. The portraits are all photographed in frontal poses, gazing straight at the camera against the background of the green hills of Samaria or the pastoral beaches of Gaza, where they reside.
Their facial expressions and dress make it clear that they are religious Jews. Their situation in these particular landscapes is therefore charged with the complex iconography of a region replete with political conflicts. Their origin lies in the strong connection between faith and land, and in a world view according to which the meaning of a place exceeds its geographical boundaries.
The photographs of the landscape are also simple, centered, direct compositions which underscore the strange and ephemeral presence of the houses and the crude and arbitrary quality of the roadblocks, barriers and fences. What characterizes “Episodes from a settlement” is the strong feeling of transience, which follows the various parts of the project, creating an unclear atmosphere regarding the political aspect of the work.
(Nili Goren “Disengagement” Museum Tel Aviv of Art, March–June 2006)