Rafael Y. Herman Illuminates the Night at MACRO in Rome

The show enters into dialogue with artists of the past who depicted the Holy Land without ever seeing it.

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Rafael Y Herman, Bosco III. Courtesy MACRO Rome.
Rafael Y Herman, Felix Taeda II. Courtesy MACRO Rome.
Rafael Y Herman, Somnum Rubrum. Courtesy MACRO Rome.
Rafael Y Herman, Montem 12. Courtesy MACRO Rome.
Rafael Y Herman, Mare 12. Courtesy MACRO Rome.
Installation View: Rafael Y Herman, "The Night Illuminates The Night" (2017). Courtesy MACRO Rome from the Collection Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso
Installation View: Rafael Y Herman, "The Night Illuminates The Night" (2017). Courtesy MACRO Rome from the Collection Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso
Installation View: Rafael Y Herman, "The Night Illuminates The Night" (2017). Courtesy MACRO Rome.
Installation View: Rafael Y Herman, "The Night Illuminates The Night" (2017). Courtesy MACRO Rome.

In his solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO), “The Night Illuminates the Night,” Israeli artist Rafael Y. Herman presents works composed through a method described as “nocturnal photography,” in which he takes photos at night, showing what is visible only to the naked eye. By intentionally working while navigating the darkness, Herman reveals new realities seen only in the moonlight.

Featuring pieces begun in 2010 and completed in 2016, the artist developed his nighttime photographic research through exploration of three different landscapes: the Forest of Galilee, the fields of the Judaean Mountains, and the Mediterranean Sea.

As such, his investigation of these environments reveals what Herman refers to as “the non-seen,” or the difference between what is real and what’s perceived; the photographs on view offer a vision of these landscapes that can only be seen in the work themselves.

Curated by Giorgia Calò and Stefano Rabolli Pansera, the exhibition seeks to create a dialogue with artists of the past who depicted the Holy Land without having ever seen it, relying on literary and Biblical sources to provide imagery.

“Like the great masters of the past, operating in the darkness of the night, Herman puts himself in the condition of not being able to see the landscape, even in these places where he was born and raised,” MACRO said in a statement about the exhibition.

Herman lives and works in Paris, where he holds a residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris for the second time. He was born in 1974 in Be’er Sheva, an ancient city in the Negev Desert in Israel. He is the 2015 winner of the Prague Photosphere Award.

Rafael Y. Herman, “The Night Illuminates the Night,” is on view at MACRO Testaccio in Rome, Italy through March 26, 2017.  


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