Sylvie Yearit Sheftel, photographer and artist / About me
When one looks at the world that surrounds us, we seem to see a certain material world. Yet, while looking at it, something different is revealed to us – this "other world", this "beyond". This wish to catch with my camera.
"The Reality", is a changing matter. Actually, the question to be asked is:
"What means reality? "
As for me, my eyes, my soul and the camera in hand, we set out on a journey. The unknown, my urge to encounter, to be surprised, to grasp the unexpected, are my driving force, the engine of my creativity.
I am still working in the old-school method, namely using film, then developing it in the lab. No digital interference, neither manipulation. I stick to LE FILM BRUT then spending hours in the lab, using printing photo paper. It enables me to touch the magic that emerges from this "old fashioned" encounter.
Like a hunter, I ambush the moment, the light, and the image woven into it.
I add to it new organic materials like a thread – I sew the photographed image onto the paper, leaves, small branches of a tree, the needle and a yarn are very present - work in process…
I am revealing, things are revealed to me – it surrounds me, I surround it.
A frame, a concrete photograph makes its statement.
My website reflects my atelier/ lab, at the same time it is a personal diary, my self-portrait with a camera in hand.
"Filter" exhibition 2010 / Irena Gordon, curator
Sylvie Yearit Sheftel captures with her camera the in-between of things. She seeks to expand the photograph beyond the limits of the moment, as she summons up what lies before our eyes but not necessarily that which is imbedded in our consciousness. Mundane sights are revealed in her photographs as holding up a secret, as hiding a most awesome event that only those who see with their mind's eye may perceive: A Rosewood's pod clinging onto a barb wire, a net of shadows on a man's face; a surrealistic obscurity of an urban tree in the moonlight; an animal-like appearance of a leaf resting on a car's roof in the rain. Her photographs reveal the trivial and the romantic in their evasiveness and sincerity, while endowing, as Merleau-Ponty puts it, "existence to that which the secular vision considers as invisible."
Her present solo exhibit unravels her search for the gaze that is prolonged beyond the visible, for the image that constantly conjures up with no limited time span – that which keeps on changing after the first momentary revelation, and seeks for the greatest refinement, the most correct filtration, for the exact tuning. Sheftel takes photographs, prints, reworks and reprints them and thus explores the possibilities of photography as a painterly medium. She persistently preserves the techniques of traditional photography, and avoids digital technologies. "It's like a necklace of beads", she says and the photographs that come out of her hands join to become a silent music which writes down the inner self with a gentle whisper.
Sylvie Yearit Sheftel studied theatre at Seminar Kibbutzim College of Education and photography at HaMidrasha School of Art, Ramat HaSharon. She spent eight years in New York, where she worked and exhibited. She showed several solo exhibitions and participated in group shows in Israel and in New York. This is her first exhibition since her return to Israel in 2003. The photographs exhibited here belong to various series she has taken in the past six years.
Irena Gordon, curator