Artist Research: Yaron Lapid

“The New Zero” – (link to video)

“The New Zero” is a 3-minute video that consists of found images. Images that Yaron found; back in 1999 where from when he snuck into a demolition sight. Whilst there he found an envelope that contained negatives and portrait photographs from a photographic studio.

The top section or more to the point, the subject’s eyes were cropped out. The cropped images give a sense of lose of identity, however detail is gained through the subjects body posture, remaining features and clothing. Within the photographs there is a correlation between absence and presence. Although we can see the subject, the cropping of a key human feature, which we as humans tend to use to connect with people, is missing. This creates the illusion of absence.

The use of cropping the subjects eyes creates a sense of distances and also destabilizes the easiest and most notable way for the viewers to relate and create a connection to the subject. It also creates a sense of un-ease and dehumanization. In the slideshow (see link above to view video on YouTube) the images pan from the subject’s chest up to their face, fading out to the next just before the crop. This adds to the sense of distance.

” The negative space of this broken eye contact throws a new set of referents into focus: mouth, clothes, posture and pose. But these are not the soft mouths of faces unused to public gazes: these are mouths that are sculpted into shape for the camera, posed in seriousness, seductiveness, charm, officialness. However, the compositional shift reveals another soft informality in the bodies of the subjects: in their slouches, in the small wrinkles in their clothes, and in the angles at which they awkwardly sit.” – Ayesha Hameed

There is a correlation between the concept that the subject’s identity has been lost due to the crop, but also that the photographs and negatives themselves were lost or left behind when Yaron found them. From my point of view that is the narrative within these photographs, lost images, losing key aspects of their identity. These aspects add to the sense of un-happiness within them.

Yaron’s work has made me consider what would happen to my own work if I were to remove sections from them. Would if give them a new dimension? Would it help with the narrative? Would it create a new Narrative in comparison to the original? I find the concept of taking the photographs and putting them into a slideshow interesting. Bring them together in that format and with the up pan and fading out personally gave the images more definition than the paper format.

His work makes me feel a little un-settled. Eyes are the windows to your soul, you can find a lot out about how someone is feeling, sometime they ever work as lie detectors. In this circumstance, the lack of the subjects eyes unsettles me because there is not that connection you would receive looking at a portrait (including the eyes) or face to face with a person.


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