The malleability of photography and the landscape in and around Israel are constants in Michal Rovner’s work. In 1978, Rovner and her former husband, Arie Hammer, established the first photo lab in Tel Aviv that offered commercial darkroom space and classes taught by professional photographers. She later earned a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem in 1981 and moved to New York six years later. Since the 1990s, Rovner has produced prints, videos, and installations based on such subjects as television coverage of the Gulf War and sites in the Israeli desert.
This work is from the series One-Person Game Against Nature I (1992). Shooting at dusk and at night from a high angle with a Polaroid SX-70 camera, Rovner isolated figures floating alone or in pairs in the Dead Sea. She then reshot the Polaroids and manipulated the images and color during processing. Rendering the body as a spectral shape that hovers in intense fields of color, the final work suggests a state of transcendence.
One Person Game Against Nature I, #31
Michal Rovner (b. 1957)
Israel, ca. 1992
Chromogenic color print
Gift of the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (The Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, DC)