On May,19th 2004 my one-man photographic exhibition opened in Raanana, Israel. For the first time I had to think about my photography. I had to capsulise what I had been doing for 35 years or more, completely naturally and taking for granted something that, to me, was just a normal occurrence. My photography was simply another integral part of me. I had never pondered or philosophised it before. It was just there and I just did it. So now I sat down and pondered and I’ll share with you my view – philosophically not photographically (that”ll come later!)………….
“My Jerusalem” – A photographic affair with the people who make Jerusalem……….. Jerusalem.
Just as a country has language, traditions and idiosyncrasies of it’s own, so does a village, town or city have it’s own way of doing things.
Just as phrases, speech patterns and accents can be specifically territorial, so too can dress, body language, attitude, reaction and custom characterize, identify and place a person.
At times the photograph of a person, at first glance, may seem to have been taken anywhere and is geographically anonymous, but on closer scrutiny it becomes clear that the photograph is specific and typical to a certain place.
I find, having photographed the people of Johannesburg, Paris, London, Istanbul and Israel, it is clear that the people give a place it’s flavour, tone, character and specific identity, more so than the architecture. After all, the architecture is defined and created by the people to suit their needs for living, working, playing and praying according to their style, habit, tradition and custom. Thus my photographing people tells me more about a place than does the architecture. It’s the people who give a place it’s atmosphere, it’s attitude.
Having lived there for over 30 years, “My Jerusalem” is a personal look at the people who are Jerusalem. It’s the attitude and behaviour of these people, an indefinable something, a certain “je ne sais qua” that gives Jerusalem the atmosphere that exists nowhere else, that makes Jerusalem special. The fleeting glance, the interaction of a couple or a group of friends that is done in that certain way, which is the “Jerusalem way”.
After more than 35 years of “people watching” and “people photography”, I am now ready to share my fascination of the human race. It is time for me to introduce you to “My Jerusalem”. Enjoy the show.
some of my work may be seen here at sey-mour’s photostream.