Mati Elmaliach

My works are a consequence of the reality of my life as an Israeli. They are created from my personal biography and the personal and collective memory of the society in which I live, and reflect the political and social reality encompassing us. As an artist working within the medium of photography, the main challenges facing me relate to the fact that the world is flooded with images. Thus, I chose not to create new images 'out of nothing', but to revisit, revise and revive existing images. This concept leads me to a practice that no longer adds images to the collective repository, but creates new images from those that already exist. I refer to the image as raw material, the basis of another image. The works constitute a new interpretive space for representations from the past.

My gaze focuses on images of my own personal archive, those of family and friends, or past images of others, that I do not know but try to comprehend. In the work process I attempt to keep aware of the history of the image; whether it is true or fiction; the insights that the original photographer impregnated in the photo; moreover – awareness of what I, as an artist, impose on the photographed object; embroidering relationships with images of the past.

I try to redefine the role of the image within the totality in which it is located. I examine how the photographed image can become an object, and seek the moment when it "unites" with the material and becomes the material itself. The image undergoes "disassembly" and "redefinition" and is now examined under a different range of values.

I examine how form, material and texture influence the photographed image. This is achieved through folding, duplicating, perforating, embroidery, and placing in space - a process in which the image becomes a platform or a starting point, physical matter, generating new re-defined images, in between two and three dimensions.

My works resonate and activate a familiar mechanism of empathy and compassion of the viewer, encountering an image that could have been in any Israeli or universal family album. On the other hand, they explore personal contexts and interpretations; re-examining the personal and collective memory, the gaps between truth and fiction, between object and image.