1.25.17 / Rome/Italy

Surreal Nocturnal Photography Comes To Light In Rome

‘The Night Illuminates The Night’ depicts landscapes in Israel after dark

the night illumintes the night Felix Taeda II, 2014

Today it’s hard to imagine describing a place without photographic evidence, but that’s what inspired Israeli photographer Rafael Y. Herman for his latest exhibit The Night Illuminates The Night.  Across centuries, artists and storytellers relied on literary descriptions to depict the Holy Land, without ever having been there themselves. Herman wanted to engage with that style by photographing the Forest of Gaililee, fields of the Judaean Mountains, and the Mediterranean Sea, all at night without any electronic or digital manipulation.

omnum rubrum for press Somnum Rubrum, 2012

What this means is that in addition to offering a sense of discovery—bringing an otherwise impossible to see nighttime landscape to life—Herman also offers a new perspective at a time when everyone is a landscape photographer. While the photos look like they were taken during the day, they are only illuminated by moonlight. Each image alters the expectations of shadows and light. The result is a surrealistic image most defined by muted colors that daylight doesn’t provide. The colors immediately indicate something is off, offering a “recreated” reality that challenges the viewers’ perception. But most importantly, the exhibit urges viewers to consider what they can’t see, in a world so clearly defined by images.

The Night Illuminates The Night is on view from January 25th to March 26th at Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome

the night illuminates the night diptych-right side Imaginarium Silvarum, 2015

Rafael_Y_Herman_montem 12_2012_180X256.5cm_Chromogenic
Montem 12, 2012

the night illumintes the night
Tempore V, 2012

the night illumintes the night Yarden, 2013