Raed Bwayeh

Right Turn, Palestinian Authority, 2007

Silver print, 100 X100 cm

Courtesy of TheHeder Contemporary Art Gallery, Tel Aviv

"Right turn!” is a common expression in the military language of ceremonies, parades and discipline. But the Palestinian soldiers featured in the work of Raed Bwayeh were not snapped in the course of a military parade or drill in the open air; their pictures were taken in a crowded space with the walls pressing in on them.

The crowd around the abandoned bed resembling a stretcher reminds the observer of a funeral rite with the deceased missing, but his presence embraces the space and the question of his identity remains open.

Bwayeh says: “Beyond the military representation that endows each soldier with a second personality, he also possesses his own personality and thoughts. I looked for what we don’t know about these soldiers, by way of the naivity of their young faces, their unconcealed disappointment, and their simple, defenseless male attractiveness.”