Ariel Hacohen


Opticland contains photographs of men and various vision-augmenting devices (a drone, a headlight, binoculars), all of which I documented with my camera.

I am passionate about the act of seeing and the camera fulfils this, capturing visual moments which I desire. But seeing through a lens, i.e. a photograph, provides not only passion or visual information; rather, it gives control. A moment of time frozen in a photograph creates a particular perspective on the past and declares, “It was so, and not otherwise.”

Unlike active seeing, “visibility” is unavoidable (I am visible even when my eyes are shut) and necessarily includes vulnerability. When someone’s stare is directed at me, I lose control of my reflected image. The breadth of my existence is limited to an image, a picture.

The polar state of seeing is inherent in my photography. My work seeks to contain both exposure and concealment, aggression and vulnerability. Thus, in Opticland vision is unstable despite augmented seeing. Laser beams capable of correcting vision are now blurring it, and eye drops designed to cure become violent tools. The gaze which is directed in all directions is experienced as fickle, protective and threatening at the same time.