Shai Kremer: Fallen Empires

With new work at Julie Saul Gallery, Kremer continues to explore the ruins of Israel and the military sublime.

Fallen Empires , the new project and book by Shai Kremer on view at the Julie Saul Gallery in New York, develops and expands the concerns of his first work Infected Landscape , which was shown at the gallery in April 2008. Kremer continues to mine the political landscape of Israel as document and metaphor, recalling a long history of military landscape photography that goes back to Roger Fenton, and invokes what has recently come to be termed "the military sublime."

Kremer's work illustrates the poetic landscapes and ruins of Israel—beautiful and aesthetically resonant, yet genuinely engaged with the issues of the transience of civilization and the legitimacy of imperialism. The dramatic images in the show date back to ancient civilizations and up through the recent Palestinian conflicts. As in his earlier work, the images seduce and then return to reality with details like surveillance cameras mounted to ancient sacred walls and jagged debris that resembles abstract sculpture.
Top: Shai Kremer, <i>Zaura.</i> <br />Above: Shai Kremer, <i>View from Masada.</i> © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
Top: Shai Kremer, Zaura.
Above: Shai Kremer, View from Masada. © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
Born and raised in Israel, Kremer received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and now lives between New York and Israel. His work is included in many public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Since 2006, Infected Landscape has traveled to galleries and museums in China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Oslo, Bergen, Lithuania, Toronto, Houston, Tampa, Portland and Paris. A work from this project has traveled in the show Exposed: Voyeurism, surveillance and the camera since 1870 to the Tate Modern, SF MoMA, and the Walker in Minneapolis.
Shai Kremer, <i>Moaz Esther.</i> © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
Shai Kremer, Moaz Esther. © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
The exhibition will be on view at the Julie Saul Gallery through 15 October 2011.

The accompanying monograph is co-published by Radius Books and Dewi Lewis Publishing, with essays by Ariella Azoulay, Meron Benvenisti, Amiran Oren, Talya Sason, and Anne Wilkes Tucker.
Kremer's work illustrates the poetic landscapes and ruins of Israel—beautiful and aesthetically resonant, yet genuinely engaged with the issues of the transience of civilization and the legitimacy of imperialism.
Shai Kremer, <i>Shivta, Water Tanks.</i> © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
Shai Kremer, Shivta, Water Tanks. © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
Shai Kremer: Fallen Empires
On view through 15 October, 2011
Julie Saul Gallery
535 West 22nd Street, New York
Shai Kremer, <i>Zion Gate.</i> © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
Shai Kremer, Zion Gate. © Shai Kremer; courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

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