Local Urban Landscape

Photography, Amos Weiss


The pinhole camera is the development of the camera obscura. Its early version is composed of a closed box with a tiny hole on one of its sides. Light from an object passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box.  The pinhole camera works on the same principle. The principle of the camera obscura was first described by Aristotle over 2,000 years ago. In the 15th century it was used by artists. The camera obscura also served as the foundation for the invention of photography in the 19th century.

Amos Weiss was influenced by the work of photographers who came to discover and document 19th century Palestine and hence decided to use the pinhole camera in his work. He photographed familiar sites in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Jaffa, some which have been preserved over hundreds of years, while others were restored in recent years: the square in front of the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jaffa flea market, the renewed Habima Square in Tel Aviv, the new building of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Most of his work is black-and-white; some photographs incorporate some color, reminiscent of old techniques of hand coloring. Weiss photographs with a film, a technology that is slowly disappearing in favor of the digital world.

The time dimension is a central component in his work. Weiss's photographs seem old despite being taken this year. The power of his photographs derives from the gap that exists between contemporary signs that appear in classical sites and the photographic technique that accords them an old look. This gap creates confusion about the time the photographs were taken.


Closes: October 30 2013