Roei Greenberg was born in 1985 and grew up in Kibbutz Yiftach, a small community in the north of Israel. After 3 years of mandatory army service and another 3 years traveling, he moved to Tel Aviv in 2009 and started his studies at Minshar Art College where he graduated in 2013.
As a student, Greenberg was selected as one of the most promising young Israeli photographers for his series ‘Kibbutz Monuments’ in a competition sponsored by Google and exhibited in the summer of 2012 at the International Photography Festival in Jaffa as part of the award. In 2014, Greenberg’s work was selected to win the best landscape series at the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards. The winning images were exhibited at Somerset House, London.
Some of his most recent projects include a commission for the Israeli Ministry of Science, to create a body of work about Israeli achievements in the different fields of science. It showed at the Ben Gurion International Airport in 2016 and continues to receive international acclaim and exposure. The year prior, Alon USA, an American oil company, commissioned Greenberg to create a photographic journey between refineries in California, Texas and Louisiana which Greenberg titled: ‘The Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’.
In 2017 Greenberg’s recent body of work, titled ‘Along The Break’ was chosen as a finalist at the Magnum Photography Awards, won the 1st prize for photographed story at Local Testimony contest, shortlisted for the Felix Schoeller Photo Award, The Meitar Photography Award and was selected as part of the Critical Mass 2017 top 50. The project was exhibited worldwide in venues such as: 'Fresh Paint' art fair (Tel Aviv), Ildiko Butler Gallery (NYC), 'Vanishing Lands' (Venice), The Photographers Gallery (London), Israel Museum (Tel Aviv) and The Athens Photo Festival (Athens).
‘Along The Break’ was selected as a finalist for the Grand Prix Fotofestiwal 2018 and will be on show during the festival in june 2018 (Lodz, Poland). Greenberg has recentley relocated to London and will start an MA course at the RCA (Royal College of Art) in the upcoming school year.
I focus on places where geography, biography and history meet and create a complex photographic perspective; pictorial and laced with empathy on one hand, yet tinged with irony and underlying ideological tones on the other. This emotional duality runs through the works, sews them together and forms a unique point of view; the personal is woven through the political and social as part of this ongoing dialogue between the ordinary and the sublime.
‘ALONG THE BREAK’
שֵׁבֶר = SHEVER
(crisis; trouble; disaster; crack; split; break)
The “Syrian-African break” is the Hebrew name for the Great Rift Valley, a topographic phenomenon caused 35 million years ago by movement of tectonic plates and crosses contemporary Israel from its northernmost point to its southern tip in Eilat.
En route, It carves out the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. It also shapes the physical borders of Israel; with Lebanon and Syria in the North, with Jordan along the eastern front and with Egypt in the South.
This personal journey along Route 90 offers a poetic framework. I confined myself to the geographic boundaries of the phenomenon, while confronting the “break” as a metaphor of the ideological and social crisis that this local landscape represents; the minefields of the Golan Heights, the empty communal kibbutz dining hall, an abandoned resort to the dry shores of the Dead Sea and the watchtowers scattered throughout the landscape like monuments for an ongoing conflict.
The physical and metaphorical journey is a main theme in my work. I take the idea of the American photographic road trip, the endless roads and vast open spaces and import that notion into the small, restricted, Israeli landscape.
Using a large format camera, I reorganize the materials of reality into an alternative entity and transform the relics into monuments, pictorial and provoking, yet tinged with irony and underlying ideological tones, an ongoing dialogue between the everyday and the sublime.