Postcard from Tel Aviv / Hinda Weiss

When I returned to Tel Aviv after spending time in Mizpe Ramon, where I worked on the project, “Following the Nubian Ibex,” I wanted to find  a new perspective from which to observe the city. Since I have dealt extensively with the city from the high-up perspective of an Allenby Street rooftop, I decided to relearn the city landscape, this time from street level. I focused on a route between my home and the Artport studio, which was located in Abu Kabir at that time. I  studied and photographed the landscape along the way as if I were a tourist. I sought inspiration from photomontages of the city that one finds on old postcards. In particular, I focused on postcards documenting Kaiser Wilhelm II’s visit to Palestine at the end of the 19th century. I searched for similar architectural motifs and traced these postcard’s compositions. My basic assumption was that a cityscape, generally, and the photographing of a cityscape in particular, is never neutral. A city’s landscape is political, even when observing through the eyes of a passerby, and even if it is designed into a surreal composition. The different elements captured in the photograph reflect mechanisms of power, and evoke a repressed past. “Postcard from Tel Aviv” presents a slow, repetitive, everyday existence. The light shining on Sabil Abu Nabbut, the Ottoman fountain, and on the girls taking selfies on Tel Aviv’s beach slowly dims. The video ends with the sun rising/setting behind the church in Jaffa’s Old City. Some will not notice the change until the video jumps to the beginning and begins to play over again.

“Postcard from Tel Aviv” was made within the framework of the artists’ residency at Artport in 2015, with the support of the Young Artist prize from Outset.