Objects: A Two Part Documentary

Objects: A Two-Part Documentary explores visual representations of Israeli nationality. The series juxtaposes two types of objects, photographed formally as still lifes in a studio setting: souvenirs sold to tourists in Israel, and items from a collection created by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a research center affiliated with the Israeli Army.

The souvenirs include trinkets that would appeal to Jewish tourists visiting Israel and are sold as a part of the ‘authentic’ Israeli experience. They contain various references to common symbols, ranging from biblical to military and patriotic references.

The items photographed from the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center represent possessions said to have been confiscated from Palestinians by the Israeli Army. These items range from objects that could be used as weapons to things that are not dangerous but confiscated as punishment.

When taken out of their original context and juxtaposed, the two series of representations create a new, more open-ended narrative. The ambiguity that results destabilizes automatic responses and assumptions, but, at the same time, demonstrates how commodification can reduce complex narratives into easily digestible and misleading imagery.