Vale of Siddim, 2018

With her project, "Vale of Siddim," Raz investigates how the historical space can be documented and photographed today while using a slightly different documentation technique. The artist collects images that represent a particular area instead of photographing it directly: geological map, re-photograph of a museum exhibit, close-up photograph of asphalt stone that looks like a sky map, and an abstract landscape print created from asphalt. Through this collection, Raz raises the question of how can a location be classified within an image? Can an image accurately represent space?

Ras follows the history of asphalt which has been created naturally in the Dead Sea. In ancient times, asphalt was one of the only natural resources available in the Mediterranean basin, thus the land became associated with materials bearing medicinal properties. In 1826 Nicéphore Niépce managed to stabilize what is considered to be the first photograph, called View from the Window at Le Gras. The material that made that process possible is the Bitumen of Judea, which is the same asphalt from the dead sea.

Michal Bar-Or, 2021.

© Copyright Shir Raz 2021