Hagar Cygler and Yair Agmon share an interest in the material presence of photography, and its intricate relationships with memory. Seen together, their work juxtaposes different, relevant and thought-provoking understandings of the role photography plays in the shaping of communal and private histories, and the impact of such narrative over institutional frameworks and familial existence.
However, each of them investigates different aspects of technological possibilities, the collection, and editing process of photographic images, and the ways they narrate histories. Whereas Hagar Cygler finds photographs in markets and private collections, while she also searches for collectible objects, Yair Agmon excavates institutional photographic archives. Hagar intervenes in the appearance of the photograph: she cuts, enlarges, regroups, and install photographic images as sculptural objects, alongside and similarly to objects she collects and fabricates. Her works thus comment upon the material presence of photographs and the ways we read them. When she tears apart family albums and private collections, she also finds different ways to re-narrate stories and personal histories. Interestingly, she also began employing these processes when working with photographs of her own family. Yair’s projects begin in institutional archives that have captured, narrated and distributed photographic histories of communities and nations. Yair examines possibilities to isolate fragments from such archives, trying to find new ways to tell the stories of these systems and the histories they preserve. He identifies common features in disparate moments, outlines the emergence of marginalized communities and re-organizes dominant narratives.
Israeli artists Hagar Cygler and Yair Agmon are alumni of the Institute for Jewish Creativity at the American Jewish University, and recent graduates of the MFA program at CALArts.
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