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A photograph is a chance – Shira Bar

A photograph is a chance. It is a sentence I wrote down in my notebook a few months ago after a conversation with my father. He was encouraging me to go outside and photograph, saying that taking a good photograph is a matter of chance, a “thing” that has no system, or a planned schemed, and one must go outside and look for it. It was his way of connecting with me, acknowledging what I love.

My father is agricultural and we have never shared the same house. The story is complicated. I was a secret to my father’s family, and I’ve mostly met and had a relationship with him in my hometown. In the last three years, I regularly take the 434 bus from Jerusalem to Rehovot for our weekly meetings. I bring my camera with me whenever we meet and document our routine. We usually do the same things, relaxing in his field and then going to eat something. But as happens in life, this routine has changed through time.

On May 31st 2018, I wrote in my notebook: I have concluded that this project will be about our meetings, and every time we meet, I will photograph.

Through doing this, I wanted to examine my relationship to the place where we meet and look at what could have been, and what was lost. I wanted to capture a memory of the place, experience, the feelings around it, and research its change and transformation. With that, I also wanted to examine what might connect us – where do we meet as father and daughter?

In this project, as in my practice in general, I work with analogue black and white photography, which for me represents an aesthetic of detachment and disconnection from reality. The series itself is still work in process and in the future I plan to release this project as a zine, combining the images with text.

I am an artist and a photographer living in Israel. In my artistic practice, I focus on researching and documenting personal environments and experiences, and I am currently working on a new photo zine. /

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