At first glance, Sharon Yaari seems to be a documentary photographer, yet his work is not as neutral as it initially appears. Yaari's photographs contain an ongoing tension between nature and culture. He chooses to photograph ordinary places, whose cultural meaning is implicit in Israeli collective consciousness, and which inevitably engage the Israeli viewer. The place he captures in his work each constitute a kind of no-man's-land, a miniature form of limbo. Yaari charges these banal and desolate spaces with his personal reality and with the mental state he is in while taking the photograph; he simultaneously disconnects us from, and connects us to, our own biographies, awakening in us an uncanny feeling of both familiarity and estrangement.
Yaari appeals to his viewers on an emotional level, evoking feelings of pain and nostalgia and undermining conceptions of time and place.
The fierce cold that metaphorically emanates from his photographs is intermingled with suffocating heat, thus awakening ambivalent responses in the viewer.
Yaari conducts a compelling dialogue with art history. The ostensible neutrality, empty space, and sparseness of his images can be read as references to modernism (perhaps even going as far back as nineteenth century Romanticism); at the same time, the charged context of his images, and the presence in them of the human body – even when it is absent from the frame – are themes of contemporary art.
This diptych is made up of two photographs of cars situated within the same landscape. The identical background in both photographs emphasizes the ephemeral quality of the events taking place against a permanent backdrop. Yaari explained that he chose cars whose colors blended into the photographic background. Indeed, while the cars function as independent entities, they do not attract unnecessary attention. The photographs were taken in winter, and the weight of the cars and the heavy rains stands out in contrast to the banal surroundings. The tranquil atmosphere that pervades the images is nevertheless imbued with drama – hinting, perhaps, at events that transpired here in the past or that will transpire in the future.