Barry Frydlender: The Blessing

Barry Frydlender

The Blessing

In "The Blessing", Barry Frydlender employs numerous photographs - all taken from the same vantage point - and assembles them on a computer to create a unified image. The work shows a gathering of Haredi men and boys on a rural outing to celebrate the holiday "Lag Ba-Omer" (a Jewish holiday, celebrated between the2nd day of Passover and Shovuot). In the rear ground a sign displays "Brachot ha-Nehenim", the blessings for all things enjoyable in life.

Though the landscape - a rustic picnic area in the lower Galilee - appears unaltered, it is inhabited by figures that never actually stood side by side. Often the same individuals appear several times in the photograph, with the shifting angles of their shadows the only indication of the different times at which the pictures were taken.

This horizontal frieze offers a rare glimpse of Orthodox men and boys at leisure, and presents a common discordance found in Israel and elsewhere-the incongruity of present-day Haredim in their eighteenth-century garb displaying cell phones and other modern convenience.

Barry Frydlender (born 1954) lives in Tel Aviv
"The Blessing", 2005 (Digital chromogenic print)
Courtesy Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York