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Boris Carmi


Photographs of women, 1940 – 1980

The exhibit sets apart Carmi’s photographs of women – from the 1930s to the 1970s -  from his work in its entirety. As Carmi said: “I always took pictures of young women, all my life I have been pro-women and anti-men.” The photographs show women soldiers, beauty queens, women in daily life, on the beach, women in the maabarot, etc.
These photographs are not only a collection of events that reflect a generation. They digress from the boundaries of a historical document and reflect joie de vivre, humor, and an attempt “to put order” into a world captured within a frame.
The curator, Avi Sabag, said, “Boris Carmi’s photographs of women call for thought and a discussion of their place within the cultural canon of the Western world that deals with the masculine view of women. This type of discussion is usually replete with negative connotations… The collection of images of women in one exhibit makes it possible to easily categorize Carmi’s look of yearning, awe and admiration for women as the masculine view, with all its negative connotations. The appearance of the halutza [pioneer], the modern and self-confident woman, but at the same time also feminine, soft and caring, revealing something else which does not fall in line with the historical-cultural programming that categorizes the view of women as chauvinistic.”
Boris Carmi was born in Russia in 1914. His mother died when he was a child, and his father, when he was 16 years old. As a young boy he left the country of his birth and moved in with relatives in Warsaw and from there began his wanderings over several countries. In 1933 he began studying ethnography in Pairs, when his life as a photographer began.
He arrived in Palestine in 1939 and worked in agriculture as a source of income, but soon shifted to photography. During World War II he photographed maps in Egypt and Italy for the British army, and performed the same for the Hagana. At the same time he engaged in professional photography until his death in 2002. Between 1952 and 1976 he worked as a photographer for Davar.
Curator: Avi Sabag
Opens December 23, closes September 15, 2006