An Indirect Portrait

A particular photographic vantage point manifested itself in the late 1920s. As Tel Aviv grew to size in the northern backyard plains of Jaffa, photographers began scaling the Jaffa hill in order to capture the cities’ panoramic growth. It is a perspective that gazes toward Tel Aviv— an inimical project that yearns for a clear view of the Jewish colony.
This gaze, however, is always obstructed by Jaffa’s northern neighborhood, al-Manshiyya, faithfully present in the foreground of the Zionist Gaze. For this reason, every photograph of Tel Aviv is also— indirectly— a portrait of three houses that consistently appear over the course of almost one hundred years. The biography of these three houses, A.K.A. the Etzel Museum, can be reconstructed thanks to the existence of this gaze.

The iso-photographic drawings on the following pages piece together cut-outs from uncovered photographs dating from 1917 to the late 1970s. Included here are the select photographs taken from the vantage point of Jaffa’s summit looking to Tel Aviv.

Zionist gaze: The field of vision from Jaffa to Tel Aviv superimposed on two seaplane photographs from 1924