IMAGE COURTESY OF ROGER GRASAS
www.rogergrasas.com / @rogergrasas
From the series HaAretz – “HaAretz provides a record against oblivion of the lands and towns described in the Bible amidst a globalized world of consumerism, hyper technicality, mass tourism and war devastation. Produced between 2010 and 2019 in the states that currently conform the main territories of Tierra Santa (Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia), the project has been conceived with the aim to document the locations of some of the most celebrated events of the Sacred Scripts: among them, “Genesis”, “Exodus”, “The Lives of the Prophets”, as well as the birth, miracles and passion of Jesus of Nazareth. Named ‘HaAretz’ after the Aramaic language that was supposedly spoken by Jesus Christ, the ‘Promised Land’ serves here as the background of a reality irreversibly mediated by the camera lens. From Eufrates to the Jordan River, from Dead Sea to the lake of Tiberias, and from Jerusalem to Damascus, these religious places exist as merchandised spaces of leisure. Within a globalized world of consecrated frontiers, landscapes are consumed, and so are history and the past…”
Editor’s comment: A stark, expertly framed juxtaposition between tradition and modernity, culture and consumerism, character and genericism, soul and perhaps soullessness in the Middle East. In this context it perhaps represents the inevitable slow creep of Western civilization, and as Roger puts it, the decline of the richness of history.