COVID-19 CREATIVE OUTLET: “Unobtainable Rest” by David Leshem

David Leshem photography

The World is experiencing a moment of stand-still during the events of Covid-19 pandemic. Surely it is affecting each one of us in many different ways. To some this means fear and uncertainty about the future, economic difficulties, to others – inspiration and time to create. This period brings ideas into surface, raises questions and debates about our healthcare and economic systems, ecological, political and social issues.

This is a series of posts featuring creative expressions made during the pandemics period, or previous works that are particularly relevant during these times of change.

Today we are sharing a series of photographs by David Leshem, who lives and works near Tel-Aviv, born in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The artworks are from February-March 2020. Place – Ness-Ziona, Israel.

Unobtainable rest

In this essay the images hover between reality and concepts to examine the way in which we view the world, our dreams and imagination fuelled by drives and desires.

The images may not appear directly related and yet they share an atmosphere of the urban middle class with its anxieties, nostalgia, faux nostalgia, and the encumbering complexities of the ever aggressive 21st century rat race in which they are inevitably trapped.

I could have chosen cities other than the one presented here, but in the end I reflected the one place I know well, my own habitat, portraying the presence of the invisible, the restriction.

-David Leshem

Artist statement:

I use photography to communicate what I see, not what I imagine. My photographs always begin with a question or some curiosity that arises within me.

I photograph the scenes for the ways in which it helps to reveal subconscious processes and evoke meaning. I believe in devoting time for an extensive research; learning about the subject is key to crystallize the heart of the matter and producing stronger work; it also surfaces questions regarding the core issues I aim to address with my images.

Once I’m on the territory where that imagery and my thoughts might coalesce, I allow myself the freedom to explore alternative and apply less rigorous ways of documenting these ideas. I do find that world complexities are far more interesting than my preconceived concept. This process is of central importance to me and guides my working methods by producing a more coherent body of work.

I apply the 20th century aesthetics of “straight photography” to capture unmanipulated images of the real world in the 21st century. Although my subject matter is ordinary, I find nuance where others seldom think to look.

My media of choice is film. I use the computer like a traditional dark room to make adjustments of exposure, contrast and color balance in order to achieve a closer approximation of what the human eye can see whilst rejecting the image manipulation for which Photoshop has become notorious.

Visit David Leshem’s website and Instagram.

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