Ori Gersht’s first UK show examines the nature of flux in a static medium

Steve Dinneen
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Boatman by Ori Gersht

Israeli photographer Ori Gersht is best known for his photographs of tranquil landscapes that retrace the paths of past traumas: his 1998 series After War was taken around Sarajevo, while White Noise was shot from a train between Krakow and Auschwitz. The historical memories create a tension between the beauty and stillness of the present and the turmoil of the past, bringing with them the implicit suggestion that these states could once again be reversed.

His latest photographic series, Floating World, is a more tranquil, contemplative affair, compiled during visits to ancient gardens in Buddhist temples in and around Kyoto. These places, many of which have remained virtually unchanged in hundreds of years, are places where time seems to grind to a halt, a contrast to the common message of change and flux that comes with 21st century life.

To create his ethereal compositions, Gersht fuses images of reflections in water with separate shots of the reality they mirror, splicing them together to create entirely new scenes that carry an air of the uncanny.

Art dealer Andrew Mummery says Gersht’s work is “an examination of the evolving nature of the camera. A device that traditionally recorded what was in front of it has now become something that creates our world rather than documents it. The digital revolution has profound implications for how we see and experience what’s outside of us. Nothing remains fixed for long; Gersht’s Zen gardens can be seen as worlds within worlds, metaphysical places where time stands still.”

Ori Gersht’s Floating World is on at Ben Brown Fine Arts, 12 Brook’s Mews, W1K 4DG from 11 May–16 June

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