Reference | About the work

Much like a map, a conflict requires a series of clear symbols in order to be deciphered and recognized.

A conflict is defined when it produces physical signs and marks that indicate the existence of opposing sides and, in most cases, also emphasize the supposed differences between them. In turn, the signs become symbols of the conflict itself – its icons.

The wall built by the State of Israel in the occupied West Bank territory is one of the most conspicuous icons of conflict in today’s world. Its sheer mass accounts for this: concrete slabs, nine-meters-high in parts and a fence in others, accompanied by an infrastructure of razor-wire, ditches, dirt roads, cameras and lights stretches over almost 800 km throughout the biblical landscape of Judea and Samaria.

In the series Reference Baram turns his gaze on the components of this massive structure as well as on other conflict-related infrastructures in his native country. His photographs isolate them from their surroundings and distort their dimensions and scale. In this way

Baram neutralizes the Wall’s gravity as an icon and allows for a different reading, one which questions its symbolic representation of strength, control and power, and shines a light of absurdity onto the notorious construction.

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