Since 1986, when I began to work on the landscapes of France for the Mission DATAR with a panoramic camera, I’ve tried to show how contemporary man influences the landscape. But I’d never seen anything similar to this. From my point of view, I could not find a subject more powerful than the Wall that mutilates the Holy Land.
One day, while we were walking along the Wall I saw a graffiti that said: ‘One Wall, two prisons’. That sums up how I was feeling. You know, I grew up in Czechoslovakia, behind a wall. I always wanted to get to the other side. I know what a wall is about.
From the start, my own approach was not political. All I wanted was to show what I’d seen. One day, when the project was almost complete, I showed my work to someone whom I met in Israel, who said to me, ‘Josef, this book goes beyond politics: it is a book about man and the land’.
You have to see everything in order to choose. I made a photographer friend laugh once by telling him that I consider myself a collector of photographs more than a photographer. In fact, I look for the place where the photograph is waiting for me. And I keep going back to that place until I get it.
Each day, L’Oeil de la Photographie will present to you a series by a photographer.
From February 12 to June 5th, 2016
Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Pkwy
Brooklyn, NY 11238
With René Backmann for the French version
375 x 264 mm
54 photographies N&B
Price : 50 €
ISBN : 978-2-36511-022-8