Because of his role as a press photographer, Pavel Wolberg has had access to locations in Israel that appear frequently in newspaper headlines. But he has been able to transform daily events into poetic statements that capture the underlying contradictions and emotions of contemporary Israel.
Wolberg's work responds to intense moments of human paradox, such as a confrontation of a Palestinian woman and an Israeli soldier on the outskirts of the West Bank town of Qalqilya (next page). While the woman's gaze is confident and almost flirtatious, the soldier bashfully lowers his eyes. Another photograph captures a scene on the West Bank in which mounted soldiers are attempting to break up a group of protesting Jewish settlers joined together in a human chain. By focusing on encounters such as these, Wolberg's work eloquently refuses to simplify the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Pavel Wolberg (born in the Soviet Union, 1966) lives in Tel Aviv
"Israeli police confront the Jewish demonstrating settlers during the evacuation of Mitzpeh Yitzhar 2004", 2005 (Digital chromogenic print)
The Jewish Museum, New York; Purchase: Gift of Nathan and Jacquline Goldman, by exchange, 2007-15