I feel deeply rooted in the photographic expression
that is identified today as street photography, or at least my understanding of it,
even though I do feel suffocated by any kind of genre-specific label.
Still, I’ve spent the last several years literally taking to the streets looking to capture poetic urban phenomena. Living in Rome it was in many ways “easy”,
as the setting around you is so enormous, so magnificently populated, so spectacular, and so beautifully lit most of the time. I felt the need to change and to challenge myself.
For many years, I had every now and then dreamt of a cottage in the Norwegian countryside, in Hadeland, where I spent most of my childhood family vacations.
My childhood memories swirled around in me and wouldn’t let me rest.
It was time then to switch everything up, leave the grandeur and excitement of Rome and retreat into the quiet Norwegian woods, walk across the hills and expanses, go back to my roots.
These photos were taken there and are a tiny excerpt of the material I have gathered so far.
I no longer try to tell stories, and this countryside project is no exception.
To quote Harry Gruyaert, “there is no story. It's just a question of shapes and light.” It may be an easy way out to use this quote, but when I read it, it perfectly fits my thoughts
on this over the last several years. I say this coming from years of thinking in a narrative fashion via theater and film. So trying to tell a story, linear or non-linear, is not my priority. If anything, one could say I am trying to express how I experience how living beings experience being there. all the time looking for connections and tunnels back into my childhood fantasy world.
If I were to put a label on this project that I am about to wrap up it would be poetic documentary.
From the busy streets of Rome to the expanses, voids, dark forests and endlessness of the Norwegian hinterland. I went to capture sensations, impressions of how the place can be and is experienced.
Reuven Halevi is a street photographer, theater director and artist born in Oslo, Norway. He has lived half his life in Rome, Italy, where he initially moved to study theater directing and where his experimentations with different forms of artistic expression eventually led him to pick up the camera, which he hasn’t put down since. He played around with photography as a kid long before the advent of digital photography, so his basic training is purely analogical. Though he still shoots film on occasion and works the darkroom, today he shoots most of his work digitally. Reuven won the EyeEm Street Photographer of the Year Award in 2016, and has been a repeat finalist in among others the prestigious Miami Street Photography Festival, StreetFoto San Francisco, Brussels Street Photography Festival and Lensculture Street Photography Awards. In 2018 he was awarded second place at the London Street Photography Festival. His work havs been exhibited in Berlin, Miami, Rome, Brussels, San Francisco, London and Zurich. He is included in David Gibson’s “100 Great Street Photographs” (2017) and has been published several times by magazines around the world, most recentlyin Das Magazin (2019), the weekly supplement of Switzerland’s newspaper Tagesanzeiger. He is also a member of the international photography collective InQuadra.
Reuven left Italy to commence a year-long poetic documentary project in the heart of the Norwegian farm country, where his family spent most of their vacations during his youth. Upon the conclusion and publication of this project he will again change his venue, and offer street photography workshops in Rome and other cities around the world.
Reuven photographs because it is, as an artform, his basic tool for coping with and understanding the world as a constant, mostly chaotic and poetic flow of experience, second only to direct physical communication and language.