SIP Encounter #1: Peter Galassi & Marta Gili

SIP Encounter #1/Photo: Leah Angel

Peter Galassi, Chief Curator of Photography at MoMA, New York, and Marta Gili, Director of the Jeu de Paume, Paris, were in Israel to talk about photography at SIP Encounter #1. Organized by the Shpilman Institute, an organization dedicated to providing a platform for different audiences to interact and explore the diverse aspects of photography, the event took place at ZOA House in Tel Aviv on July 12, 2010.

Peter Galassi, Chief Curator of Photography at the MoMA/Photo: Leah Angel

The spirit of experimentation extended to the format of the evening itself. Mr. Galassi and Ms. Gili answered questions from the stage, while their images were projected on the screen behind them, which was split into four screens. In the weeks preceding the event, Israeli artists were filmed posing questions to the guests, and in addition, anyone interested could upload their own video with a question to the website of the Shpilman Institute. A selection of these questions was chosen to present to the guests during the event.

Photo: Leah Angel

Generating excitement and curiosity, the event filled the auditorium to capacity, and clearly there were many more questions than time for answers. The big question – what is the future of photography – is not one that anyone can really answer, but it was a thrill to have such experts in our midst to discuss them with an Israeli audience. Midnight East was represented at the event by photographer Leah Angel, a new immigrant from South Africa, currently living and working in Tel Aviv. Most resonant for Angel was Ms. Gili’s comment on photography: “An image that moves you in some way and gives you an experience.”

Marta Gili, Director of the Jeu de Paume/Photo: Leah Angel

The questions of art are difficult to define and quantify – one of the reasons they invite discussion. For those who missed the event, the Shpilman Institute plans to make the video available on their website, and will be planning other events in the future.

All images courtesy of Leah Angel,