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About Efraim

 

Originally from Austria, Efraim has lived in Vienna and Jerusalem. His photography represents religion from a modern perspective. This is unusual for someone from Efraim's social background, as he was brought up in a family that is a Hasidic dynasty. He has always had a keen interest in the historical development of photography, literature, cinema, psychology, philosophy and theatre and so he is able to create images of yesterday in a modernist way.

Efraim`s Grandfather came to Vienna after the Second World War, after his great grandfather was killed in Auschwitz. His grandparents had been hiding in Hungary for seven years previously. Just like his personality his grandfather's life was rather unique. Efraim's great grandfather had been a simple poor book-binder, whereas his son was a brilliant Talmud scholar at the age of twenty and Head of a Chassidic Talmud academy (Yeshivah). After the war the Rosh Yeshivah and Hasid (Head of an Academy) who’s only language was Yiddish, founded a bank in Vienna. Efraim`s family has lived in Vienna ever since.

Efraim has been influenced by Neo-Hasidism with teachers such as Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Arthur Green as well as Israeli poet: Chayim Nahman Bialik. Furthermore, Efraim has been influenced by Haskalah (Enlightenment) whilst simultaneously bringing forward the significance of early Hasidisim for personal spirituality and story telling through his photography.

Efraim's photographs come from the belief that human beings are too complicated and potentially great to confine or limit themselves. We are all encompassing and often the good and bad in people are entangled, so that people are not black and white. People are like their emotions, diverse and full of drama and passion. Often what you see is a transformation so that the goodness in people comes from the negative, it's all intermingled.Efraim's photographs try and capture both the light and the darkness in a person. This is clearly revealed through his photography that brings out historical aspects of faith with modernism.

Efraim's combination of historical and modern approach experiments with form and draws attention to the processes and abstraction. His work is self-conscious and challenges, as Adorno has characterised, conventional surface coherence and appearance of harmony. Yet as Einstein said, as we look at Efraim's photography it is possible from "Discord find harmony".