an investigative photo documentary

Exclusive 19-page photo essay from our investigative journalist team in collaboration with award-winning photojournalist Nir Kafri. Location: Tel Aviv, Israel Copyright Wondereur 2018.

MEET with artist Noa Yafe curated by one of Israel's most politically vocal art figures Joshua Simon.

Yafe 1
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SCULPTURE BEATS EVERYTHING ELSE FOR ME.
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It’s so powerful because it deals with substance.
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Someone came to see my show and said, ‘I thought you wanted to put a sculpture on the wall - where is it? I just see a picture.’ And I’m like, ‘No, this is a sculpture.’
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IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE PHOTO NEEDS TO BE A SCULPTURE.
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I build each image from scratch. In a Photoshop era, I decided to turn away from retouching my photos. It requires more than technique: it’s based on a conceptual set of rules that I’ve submerged myself into.
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IT’S LIKE A GAME TO ME. I CREATE THESE WORLDS OF MINE.
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TO ME, WHATEVER YOU SEE YOU DON’T REALLY SEE.
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I learned how to see 180 degrees when I was very young.
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I had these striking moments of realization as a kid when you see that the world is not what you first thought it was.
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I used to see my mom put her glass eye on the bedside table. It was like a surreal kind of moment. She could barely see but you would never know. She’s such an independent woman, she never wanted to walk with a stick, she’ll comment on things saying ‘Oh that’s beautiful!’ and she always does what she wants.
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MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME HOW TO SEE WITH THE MIND.
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I think this was the first step in my becoming an artist. Then, I started photography and felt for the first time in my life: this is what I know - I know how to see, I know how to look.
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I’m a photographer by definition: I see the world as two-dimensional. But at the same time, I’m a sculptor.
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It’s like reverse engineering: I start with a two-dimensional photograph and then attempt to recreate the three-dimensional space that was magically caught in the camera lens.
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RIGHT NOW, I’M RECREATING THE FIRST PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM MARS BY THE VIKING I SPACECRAFT.
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The first time I looked through a viewfinder, I fell in love with it - the cropping of the frame, the reflection of light on surfaces. A camera is a fascinating machine. It’s that first revelation I want to capture in my photos.
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NOW, I’M TRYING TO BECOME THE MACHINE.