Bronze 2017 / Portfolio / Fine Art_PO

Eros & Thanatos

  • Photographer
    Guy Yechiely
  • Prizes
    Bronze in Portfolio/Fine Art

Eros is the god of love and sexual desire in Greek mythology, while Thanatos is the personification of death. Both are described in works of art as beautiful and active young men. According to Freud's psychoanalytic theory, the two central impulses are Eros - the sex drive and which represents life, compared to Thanatos, the death and aggression drive. These two impulses are in constant conflict. In this project I combined these two facets with a modern, more local view: The 17-18 year old boys represent Eros, young and beautiful but naive, merely a step away from being drafted into the military for 3 years, which in Israel is mandatory. The military represents Thanatos. Its main purpose is violence, aggression and destruction. It takes these young naive boys (the Eros) and fills them with new ideals while fulfilling the urge for self-destruction (the Thanatos). The pictures are full of cultural, national and international icons, for example: The "Crying Soldier" stands on a dramatic yellowish ground, crying, next to a burned down house, perhaps on a battlefield - leading the viewer to think, why is he crying? For what? Where is he? The iconic picture is taken from the "niños llorando" paintings by Bruno Amadio, which were very popular in Israel during the 1980s. "The Victim" is a dark and gloomy photo, showing a man holding a weapon and lifting the head of another man, both unknown - as in an iconic image of Greek men fighting, or reminiscent of a biblical scene, but also as an icon of what we see in the media every day - a struggle that ends with an unknown man displaying the body of his victim. The wounded soldier is carried by another soldier on a groundsel field, which grows everywhere in Israel and appears in several military songs. Exposure series: Images showing the body exposed through uniforms in various “army-like” positions.