Vale of Siddim, 2018

In her project, "Vale of Siddim," Raz examines how a historical space can be represented and photographed while using a slightly different documentation approach. Instead of photographing it directly, the artist assambles images that portray the area: 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 body of work, Raz questions the possibility of marking location within an image, and wonders if an image can accurately represent space.

Raz 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 2022