“the difficulty of getting a view satisfactorily in the camera: foregrounds are especially perverse; distance too near or too far; the falling away of the ground; the intervention of some brick wall or other common object … what pictures we would make if we could command our point of views”. Francis Frith, 1859. When exploring the relationship of landscape and pictures – landscape is something that is first constitute in consciousness. To Freud, conscious thoughts or feelings are made to transfer to the unconscious. He discusses the structure of our memory and the process of movement from the conscious to the unconscious by using the analogy of a mystical writing pad. This pad’s surface could be erase and then reuse again and again . But he decide to reflect on a small imperfection that could have no meaning for the user of the pad. Though the pad can erase the layers of writing, the under-layer of the pad could reveal traces of the previous activity. He regards the surface of the pad as a surface that cannot be fully erase and uses it as an analogy to our psychological structure and its relationship to memory, thoughts and perception. In my photography I repeatedly search forms of obstruction in reality (or what Jacque Lacan refers to as “the real”), which is revealed by an act of the policing of space. Although my research is about the political use of the landscape and the appearance of the act of control in space and architecture, it also self reflects on the medium of photography as a tool to police the idea of looking. The selection of photographs in this presentation represent my work made in the Jordan valley, the north of the West Bank, where a dormant quarry punctures the landscape. The quarry was closed 21 years ago when heavy trucks lifted and transported the land to build in Israel. The trucks left invisible latent impressions over the landscape, whilst the turf, boulders and patterned growth reveal its activities from two decades ago.
Matan Ashkenazy is a London based artist working with photography and photographic installations. His practice applies within formal limitations of photography that examine relationships between time, space, politics, landscape and architecture. The ideas in his work resonate connections of disappearance, erasure and consciousness. His work has been exhibited at Filet gallery, London (2019), Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury, U.K. (2018), Photo-London, Somerset house (2018, 2019), NContemporary gallery Milan (2018-2020), Daniel Blau gallery, London (2014), Ramat-Gan Museum of Art, Israel (2013), Tel-Hai Museum of photography, Israel (2011). While developing his practice Matan worked as an artist assistant for artist Jeff Wall and artist Nick Waplington. Matan completed his M.A Photography from the Royal College of Art, London (2015), and BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (2011). Previous awards, scholarships and support for his work include Hariban Award Honourable Mention; Freeland foundation covid-19 emergency fund for artists; the Windle Trust Award; the Excellence in Photography Award, America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Tel-Aviv; the Marc Rich Foundation Scholarship, Lucerne, Switzerland; the Villiers David Scholarship, Royal College of Art; the Mendel Foundation Award, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Israel; Fine-Art Degree Show Acquisition Award, Royal College of Art, London; The-Fine Art Bursary, Royal College of Art.