Since November 13th The Tel Aviv Opera house has been showing the latest work of photographer Maya Hed entitled ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’. She has been working on a series of photographs of Jazz musicians, eschewing the glitz of the performance for the effort of the sound check.
These images reflect the more intimate and secluded moments that are rarely seen in the actual performance. The viewer can experience a visual echo of the expressive force of jazz music, enabling them almost to “listen” with their eyes.
We caught up with Maya a few days ago and asked her some questions about the exhibition and her work.
When did you first get your hands on a camera?
As a child I always played with my parents’ cameras, back then it was film and Super 8 mm ,we had all types of cameras , Polaroid, Hasselblad ,Lecia,Canon,Nikon Nizo and disposable cameras .
Whose work do you look at to inspire you and keep you creative?
MUSIC, MOVIES AND LIFE Keep me inspired and creative. Some artists who do so are: John Cassavetes, Mario Testino ,Pier Paolo Pasolini,Federico Fellini ,Gianni Di Venanzo , Ernest Haller, Luchino Visconti and Terrence Malick.
Why did you move to Israel? Did you feel you were giving up a lot art-wise?
It was my parents decision. At the time Rabin was Prime Minster and there was a great feeling of peace in the air it was very exciting moving here but sadly he was assassinated a few months after we arrived . Art-wise I don’t feel as if I gave up a lot – art is an international language I would have done it anywhere, in the future I would love to move back to L.A and work there & in more places around the world .
Have you always enjoyed Jazz? Which musicians do you recommend readers listen to?
Yes I always enjoyed Jazz as well as going to Jazz festivals and concerts. Today I’m the photographer at those events. I would love to recommend readers to listen to what ever makes them happy but here are a few great artists: Miles Davis,Chet Baker ,Nina Simone,Charlie Parker ,B.B King , Esther Phillips, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong , Jelly Roll Morton,Chick Webb, Paul Whiteman and most importantly anyone photographed in my project.
Do you think black and white photography still has a place today?
Sure ! Black and white has a place anywhere in photography today it’s just a question of choice. At times the color describes my feelings in a better way than black and white so basically I use both accordingly .
Have you adapted easily to digital? What do you feel it loses over film?
Yes it was surreal at first, I remember it was I think 1996 when I got my first digital camera. It’s hard to say one loses over the other both types have their unique touch and I truly love both. At times I miss the romance of waiting in the dark room for the image to come to life but I truly believe that when you create something it doesn’t matter the type as long as you have the passion for it .
Can you enjoy the music if you are taking photos or does it become work?
YES!!!!!!!! I do enjoy the music ,I never feel as if it’s work – the camera leads me through “THE RABBIT HOLE” of live music, and I believe it’s a very important part of my experience. There are times I forget I’m taking photographs because I am so in sync with the music .
Why did you choose to photograph the sound checks rather than the concerts?
I always wanted to explore the sound check, it is such an exquisite time , this is the time the artist connects with himself and the music right before the big show and I find that very magical extraordinary and I consider it the peak of the music of the show.
Why the title?
‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ is the whole atmosphere of what I felt and would love my viewers to feel while looking at the photographs . It is a pure and genuine moment of relaxation, the artists are connected with themselves and the music but in such an easy way ,this is the moment you take a breath and let your body and soul enjoy the moment.
What project are you working on next?
The next projects I’ll work on is a trilogy of self-portraits I did, or something political/social with a developing story.
You’ll have to be quick if you want to catch the show as it closes on December 13th. Get there whilst you still can!