Michal Baratz Koren
Michal Baratz Koren (1978, Israel) lives and works in Tel Aviv.
She studied Fashion Design Studies at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (1999-2000); Communication Art at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (2000-2004, graduated with honors); and Photography Studies at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan (2007-2008).
Koren operates in a field of "staged photography", each project she spends considerable time searching for just the right locations as settings for her photographs. In her first series she depicted women of the bible, the lesser known stories to be told. Works that tickle the imagination and shed a different light from what we are used to in these stories.
In her last series, "mayne tayre", Baratz Koren is driven by a longing - for her childhood, for stories her grandparents had told her, for the smells and flavors that accompanied her life. With sensitivity and compassion, she rummages through memories, gathers pieces of information, explores and interviews and re-arranges the puzzle that is the history of her family, and hers. These become raw materials, which she stages into multilayered and elaborate mise-en-scènes. She uses objects drawn from the heart of eastern European Jewish culture, with dramatic lighting and landscapes that have become synonymous with both the diasporic story and the pioneer story. When her family members are called to be the models in the photographs, the family memories gain contemporary validity, not only recreated but re-lived.