Israeli photographer and video artist Ori Gersht creates bodies of work that often poetically explore the relationships between history, memory, and landscape. Through metaphor, Gersht illuminates the difficulties of visually representing conflict and violent events or histories.
Themes such as Dutch still life painting, romantic landscapes, and Nazi-occupied territory escape routes in the Pyrenees are steeped in Gersht’s bodies of work. Gersht's imagery is uncannily beautiful; the viewer is visually seduced before being confronted with darker and more complex themes, presenting a compulsive tension between beauty and violence. This has included an exploration of his own family’s experiences during the Holocaust, a series of post-conflict landscapes in Bosnia and a celebrated trilogy of slow-motion films in which traditional still lives explode on screen.
He approaches these topics not simply through his choice of imagery, but by pushing the technical limitations of photography, questioning its claim to truth.Gersht is perhaps best known for his work with slow-motion capture, wherein he produces images and video portraying fruits, flowers, and other material fracturing when stuck with high velocity gunfire.
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1967, he earned his MFA in photography from the Royal College of Art in London, later gaining critical success with an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a professorship at the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester in Kent, England.
Gersht’s works have been in numerous major institutions including the Guggenheim, New York; the Hirshorn Museum, Washington D.C.; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, among many others.