"The best of Brenner's photographs represent a friction between past and present that all Americans need to confront and resolve as best they can." New York Times Book Review

Barsky family Moscow,
Russia, 1990
Click on picture to enlarge

Barsky family Sodom,
Israel, 1991
Click on picture to enlarge

Photographer Frederic Brenner has traveled for nearly two decades, photographing Jews in more than forty countries and capturing the diversity of their experiences in the Diaspora. Now, in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Israel, Brenner has produced an exquisitely crafted book of black and white photographs of members of some fourteen recent immigrant families, all of whom he had previously photographed in their native countries in Yemen, Ethiopia, Russia, Yugoslavia, United States, France, England, and India.

Viewing the magnificent photographs in Exile at Home (Harry N. Abrams Publishers, 1998), we ponder the definitions of "exile" and "home." Writes Frederic Brenner in the introduction to this work of art:

"1978 My journey started in Jerusalem in Mea She'arim. Then, as if on a reverse journey from this diaspora in the heart of Israel, I went to search for the multiple fragments of exile. 1997 Many contrasting, contradictory photographs, gleaned from forty different countries, have deconstructed the emblematic image of the Jew that was at the origin of my journey.

Photographer Frederic Brenner has traveled for nearly two decades, photographing Jews in more than forty countries and capturing the diversity of their experiences in the Diaspora. Now, in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Israel, Brenner has produced an exquisitely crafted book of black and white photographs of members of some fourteen recent immigrant families, all of whom he had previously photographed in their native countries in Yemen, Ethiopia, Russia, Yugoslavia, United States, France, England, and India.

Viewing the magnificent photographs in Exile at Home (Harry N. Abrams Publishers, 1998), we ponder the definitions of "exile" and "home." Writes Frederic Brenner in the introduction to this work of art: "1978 My journey started in Jerusalem in Mea She'arim. Then, as if on a reverse journey from this diaspora in the heart of Israel, I went to search for the multiple fragments of exile. 1997 Many contrasting, contradictory photographs, gleaned from forty different countries, have deconstructed the emblematic image of the Jew that was at the origin of my journey.


Tzabari & Zendani families Wadi Amlah,
Yemen, 1985
Click on picture to enlarge


Tzabari & Zendani families Kikar Rabin,
Tel Aviv, Israel, 1997
Click on picture to enlarge

To return to Israel is to interrogate, to confront these images, these differences, and to ask what unites and what divides the Jewish people. I have chosen to address these questions to fourteen families I photographed between 1978 and 1997, whom I found again united and scattered throughout Israel. Only after extensive fieldwork and many conversations did I determine how to portray these families in their new homeland. On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, this photographic essay remains a book of questions, a mirror that I interrogate as I attempt to understand what place to ascribe to the exile within us, so that the promise may yet come true." "Exile at Home" opens with two short essays by Israeli poet Yehudah Amichai. JHOM.com brings you an audio webcast interview with photographer Brenner.

excerpted
From: Exile at Home (Harry N. Abrams Publishers, 1998)

 

   
  SEARCH THE SITE:

Subscribe to the JHOM mailing list for updates.
Email:


Contact us


Tell a friend