Noya Franco

Landscape. Battle. Field

I started the project with a journey across Israel. My photography changed as soon as I learned about the complexity of the landscape. I realized that I did not want to )and could not( look at the landscape with such innocent eyes, a landscape steeped in bloody history and built of archaeological strata.
That is how I came to photograph “battlefields,” sites that the state decided to commemorate the historical conflict that took place in them. The photographic act is shaped by the attempt to recreate the battle in my imagination while simultaneously look at the place objectively. The photograph is taken while intentionally turning my back to the sign or the monument, leaving only the “field” in the “battlefield.” The outcome is pastoral landscape photo, which is actually empty of the traces of the site’s history and memory and points to the gap between reality and imagination.
On every journey I took, at every site, I performed a ritual – for myself and for the place. I brought provisions with me – a picnic for one, like a field ration of sorts. On every site I photographed my shadow cast on the ground. The photos of the meals and of the shadows are indexical of my presence as a woman and a photographer in the most masculine of spaces, and of the presence of the present in historical spaces