Roi Kuper

From the Series "Necropolis", Israel, 1998

8 black & white photographs,
50x50 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art

“In his series of photographs, ‘Necropolis’, which he jointly created with the photographer Gilead Ophir, Roi Kuper highlights mainly the expropriation of the landscape, with its universal-pastoral context, in favor of aggressive military presence with complex moral and social aspects. In his photographs, Kuper highlights the Israeli cities of the dead: the abandoned army buildings, or compounds constructed for military purposes such as combat training in built-up zones, which are left orphaned in remote areas. These structures are transformed into a type of memorial to Israeli history; in the past they were monuments to heroism, and today they stand neglected, dismal and ugly.

These hollow, abandoned, disintegrating buildings and facilities, pierced with gun holes, serve Kuper in his treatment of Israeli militarism, which has infiltrated into many areas of Israeli society, in a manner which seems natural to most Israelis. In his works he relates mainly to the expropriation of space and landscapes, with their universal and pastoral values, for the sake of army use and aggressive military presence. A sublime landscape has been expropriated and damaged by the army, who turned it into an alienated and neglected desert. The anti-aesthetics of army camps are brought to extreme by turning the landscapes they control into ghosts which nature has spewed out.”

From a text written by Rona Sella, Herzeliya Museum.