Benyamin Reich is showing three photographic works under the heading Backwards, which are being presented for the first time as a single unit. In each of the pieces Reich works with the motif of a subtle ‘sanctity’, taking up the biblical notion that the divine is not discernible face to face but only when looking back.
In Tefillin schel Jad the artist causes the ritual quality of man to ‘slip off’ in both a metaphorical and a concrete sense; it is – like an item of clothing – taken off, so directing our view to the youthful body as a symbol of the pure and the ‘holy’.
The picture Hortus shows the beauty that lies in man’s bond with nature: naked and with no shame, exemplary representatives of each gender wander hand in hand through an unfathomable paradise: whether they are the original parents of mankind or a brother and sister remains unresolved.
Light deals with the intimate, ambiguous relationship of man to light as the visual expression of the divine. A naked youth turns away from the light, or – inwardly, in shy reverence – perhaps towards it. In this way a field of interpretation is opened up, which appears – subliminally – to pose further questions about the relationship between the libido and the concept of the divine.
In his photographic works Reich generally attempts to rediscover the religion of his childhood and its ideas of sanctity and divinity in the modern world and in nature. He makes key use of portrait photography, using it to help him connect opposites such as physicality (sensuality) and spirituality, the holy and the profane, or nature and humanity.
Benyamin Reich was born and grew up in Bnei Barak, Israel. He has lived in Berlin since 2009.
28.08. – 20.09.2015
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm