Finding from the Red sea
In May 2020, the last days of the first corona lockdown in Israel, I went down south - to Eilat to photograph at the underwater observatory that was closed to the public. Eilat, is a tourist town in the desert, right at the north entrance to the Red Sea; In normal times, the city bustles with life and tourists. In the underwater observatory built as a nature museum on the beach, and on the coral reserve, thousands of people visit every week. At this time of closures and the plague, most of the time the observatory is closed and desolate.
Being at the observatory was a one-time opportunity, when it was completely empty, to wander as I pleased and to photograph really close and at eye level, without disturbing the marine environment; some of it artificial - packed inside an aquarium as an exemplar, and some of it wild, extending beyond an underwater window that you can see out - from an aquarium – to the sea. The human emptiness and silence were very powerful, there was a feeling that in an instant the abandoned place would succumb to the forces of nature that would rise above it and expropriate it from man.
A feeling that if the epidemic continues a little longer, as well as the absence of humans, then the outside will allow itself to break into the interior, and the nature trapped inside ponds and aquariums, man-made nature - designed to mimic living environments for conservation, display and entertainment - will blend with the wildness of nature outside.
The photographs in the series simulates this moment! They deal with the rising tension between the inside and the outside, and the blurring between nature or wild reality and a virtual or staged reality created by human actions. Each work consists of two frames, one on top of the other. One is a view into an aquarium or pond, and the other is a view from the underwater observatory out into the open sea.
My action fixes the blur between the two gazes and creates a fantastic moment of virtual reality, or perhaps actually a glimpse into a future reality; to the day when the sea will rise on land again.