Photo above: “Heart of Gold,” by Itzik Iluz
I didn’t think I would make it to the Jerusalem Light Exhibit a third time. It was the last night (Wed., June 16), I was tired and feeling down, and wasn’t sure I wanted to carry a tripod, camera, and couple lenses all over the Old City by myself. I was standing outside work, trying to decide whether to take the minibus home or the one that goes into downtown Jerusalem. I actually tried to phone my husband three times to ask him to decide for me! (He had left his phone at work, so that wasn’t much use.) Then I saw a man on crutches getting on one of the minibuses and realised that I had no real excuses. At least I could get to the exhibit with the weight of the photography equipment. So I took the Rehavia minibus into town and got off at Graphos.
I arrived around 6:20, much too early for the light show. I wandered around Ben Yehuda (photographed the “Open Studio,” while they were doing a broadcast), the Mamilla Center, and the Old City. I ended up walking to the far end of the orange trail, by which time it was getting dark. In theory, it was an excellent idea, because I figured I could work my way back and photograph the farthest sites before the crowds arrived. In practice, it’s not easy. The orange trail winds through some narrow alleys; walking in the opposite direction is truly swimming against the tide.
I’m not going to include links for all the artists and installations because that would take too much time. This link will take you to the official site with all that information.
Batei Machase Square was the site of an animated projection, “Touch of Light,” by Malchi Shem Tov, Asaf Shem Tov, Amit Fisher. It was very impressive but, to be honest, I preferred last year’s installation, “Ori,” by Ronen Aricha, Ori Ben-Shabat, and Yosef Meir Jimi (photo here). “Ori” was truly magical and showed a day in the life of a boy, from pre-dawn to late evening. “Touch of Light was a surreal depiction of a crack appearing in the building, the crumbling of the wall, and large bubbles flowing out of the interior. The photo below shows the transition. By the way, it was too crowded to set up a tripod, so all my photos of this site were taken hand-held (more photos here).
The story of the recently rebuilt (for the third time) Hurva Synagogue was projected on the side of the Hurva itself. This installation was called “From Your Ruins I will Build You,” by Amit Shay. Other photos here.
“Heart of Gold” is a fairly small fiber-optic sculpture in the Davidson Center, outside the entrance to the Western Wall plaza (good place to find a free public toilet if the main public toilets in the Western Wall plaza are too crowded or out of service). If you enter via the Dung Gate, the entrance is down some steps on your left, and you make almost a U-turn to get to the entrance of the Davidson Center. The ticket area (it was free for the exhibit) is underneath the road. “Heart of Gold” changed colour constantly, so it was fun to photograph.
This is one of two wedding dresses created from optic thread and a video projector. I’m not sure why the two dresses are called “A Dress for Five People.”
This shot of Gil Teichman’s “Fans of Light” in the Kidron valley was a tough one to get. In fact, you’ll notice that there is no real photograph on the official exhibit site, just an artist’s conception or enhancement. It’s so dark that you need a fairly long exposure. At the same time, the light beams are moving so fast that you can’t have the shutter open too long. I ended up photographing this in RAW at a fairly high ISO.
The lighting of Absalom’s Tomb and other graves in the Kidron Valley is part of the “Fans of Light” installation.
“A Mound Comes to Life” in David’s City tells the story of a city’s birth and destruction with an animated projection. It went through the stages of a city, from the buildings being constructed, a tree growing, fire destroying the city (photo below), and smoke rising from the ashes. After the story projection, different rooms were lit and there was a commentary about them. It was a small but impressive display.
So that’s the end of my Light Exhibit 2010 photos. If you plan to see all the exhibits, allow yourself two nights. If you want to see any of the performances as well, you’ll need three nights to cover everything. The trails were much better list this year with light cables; last year the hanging Chinese lanterns were difficult to spot and it was easy to step off the trail without realising it. The crowds were better controlled, in part by changes like designating entrances and exits for small sites and the Cardo. Entrance to all the exhibits and installations is free. Entrance to the Pyromania performance was 50 NIS, which I consider a bargain. I’m looking forward to next year’s exhibit.