As the human skin merges with the surface of the earth, new landscapes are forged: the human body does not merely stand in contrast with its surroundings, standing with arrogant will, but rather blends with its environment and becomes an organic part of it. Cradled at the feet of a tree, resting within the bed of a dried river, sprawled upon the cover of a warm desert or curved over the golden stalks of an open field: bodies are able to blend into the colours, movements and shapes of their environment, adapting to circumstances. Through the poetic imagery of the photographer Omer Ga’ash, an exploration of the naked bodies of women and men is undertaken against the background of natural spaces.
The environment becomes a place where human presence can be more than just detrimental, pollutant, dangerous: it is graceful, fluid, natural.
With a background of dancing, architecture, graphic design and mapping, Ga’ash proposes a combination of disciplines to express the self and the relationship to its surroundings. The shapes and patterns of the bodies within his shots, in fact, reflect the possibility of a symbiosis between humanity and environment, artifice and nature, that has never been proposed before. Bodies become ways to map, measure and define the environment in a selfless way, by belonging to it rather than attempting to dominate it. A crown of people posed on the dusty desert, resemble the shadow of a tree reaching to the sky; the figures trapped in the cracks of a rock, perfectly fit into each other; a pyramid of women holding each other up recalls a mountain in the background. Bodies interact with each other by imitating, blending or leaning onto each other, whilst the surroundings make sense of their interaction. Curves, lines or shapes that take place in nature are replicated by the gentle and collaborative movement of muscles, limbs, skins. Sculpting the environment through human flesh, Ga’ash’s photographs seem to respond to the need to seek solutions and peaceful ways to interact with one’s locus. They are a radical statement of belonging, of identity, of symbiosis. These images present a timeless vision: the human body, naked as it came, is deprived of the specificity of clothing and rather become a universal element. Textures merge, creating human landscapes and earthly communications.
By shifting the narrative of our present perception of the human being, Ga’ash is able to repropose a new manner of interacting with the environment that not only supports us or complements us, but also resembles us. Naked and content, these bodies become the bare bones of our earth.
Phoot Credit: Omer Ga'ash