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British Journal of Photography: Ori Gersht’s Floating World

Image © Ori Gersht, courtesy Ben Brown Fine Arts

Floating Worlds, the first major gallery show in London for Israeli photographer and 2015 Prix Pictet nominee Ori Gersht, is about to launch at Ben Brown Gallery Fine Arts gallery.

The exhibition will debut the London-based Israeli artist’s latest body of work, a series of photographs capturing the ancient gardens in Buddhist Zen temples in and around Kyoto, Japan.

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1967, Gersht received a bachelor’s degree in photography, film and video at the University of Westminster, London, and a master’s degree in photography from the Royal College of Art, London. He currently works out of a studio in the city.

Gersht’s photography is nominally of landscapes. Yet there’s a personal element to them; his first major series were photographs of the forests in Western Ukraine where his family hid from the Nazis during World War II.

Gersh followed the series up with After War (1998), showing Sarajevo at the end of the war in Bosnia; the White Noise series (2000), shot from the train between Krakow and Auschwitz, and more recently Evaders (2009), where Gersht retraces the steps of his muse Walter Benjamin’s journey across the Spanish Pyrenees.

In November 2015, Gersht began work on his Floating World series in Japan, visiting and photographing the ancient Zen gardens in and around Kyoto. The pictures, he says, “were created to reflect the essence of nature and as aids to meditation.”

For Gersht, they “represent an alternative to our image-saturated world in flux.”

“In these works we are presented with the absence of the object of representation whereby the photograph becomes the thing that exists, an image of the folding of space and time,” the gallery wrote in a statement. “Much like in his earlier landscape series, Gersht intends to document something that is not physically present.”

 Floating World is on show from May 11 to June 16 2016. More information here.