Natan Dvir's Belief
Amona, 2006, copyright Natan Dvir
"In this rapidly changing world in which career and financial successes are revered, perhaps even idolized, communities, as well as the concept of personal identities and how they are presented within society are greatly evolving. The information revolution shortened distances between people enabling interactions never before possible. Yet even in these exciting times belief continues to be one of the basic, most significant and profound factors defining and shaping individuals and societies alike.
Having been raised in Israel, I was regularly exposed to strong religious, social and political beliefs and ideas from an early age. Holy sites situated throughout Israel make the (physically) small country extremely important for Jews, Christians, Muslim and many other religions. The regionʼs history combined with the volatile political situation today, result in a complex and intense reality in which people emphatically and publicly express themselves. I am fascinated and sometimes frightened by the extreme situations people reach in the pursuit and defense of their beliefs. I explore the various sides of how people practice their beliefs, the places it brings them to and the scenes in which they take part. Regardless of specific religious or political affinities, belief can provide a sense of community, belonging, safety, and understanding, yet might also provoke hatred, separation and aggressiveness.
Baptism, 2007, copyright Natan Dvir
Tranquility vs. anger, ecstasy vs. rage, understanding vs. fanaticism. Using my camera as a tool for examination, I documented religious ceremonies, political events and situations of conflict throughout Israel. The photographs in this project are direct examinations of the public as a whole yet focus on individuals and their experiences as well.
The dialogue between the pictures is as important as every individual image, as each one has the potential to connect with viewers in a unique way. By displaying multiple images in this series, I aim to show the multifaceted nature of belief and the various ways it impacts the lives of individuals and communities. Belief can often shape peopleʼs behavior and personal interactions but this is typically unnoticed by those who are most deeply influenced by it. This project promotes self-reflection and encourages viewers to contemplate their own beliefs, or the ideals of their communities, and the intensity with which belief affects their actions and way of life." -- Natan Dvir
Natan Dvir (b. 1972, Nahariya, Israel) is an Israeli photographer who focuses on the human aspects of political, social and cultural issues. He received his MBA from Tel Aviv University and his MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts (NY). Natan is based in New York City and photographs around the world for Polaris Images. His work has been published by numerous international magazines including the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, and Glamour, among others. Natan's main projects were exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe,
South America and Israel including the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston),the Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland), Blue Sky Gallery (Portland). He has been honored with numerous awards including Photolucida's Critical Mass Book Finalist award and Fotofest 2010's Discoveries of the Meeting Place. His website is www.natandvir.com and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finite Foto's Melanie McWhorter met Natan Dvir at Review Santa Fe. View more of Natan Dvir's project Belief below.