Q&A: Barak Zemer


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Have given up on those philosophies. Trying to make it through the day and not harm or offend too many things. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? How stupid we were? (isnt that always what baffles when looking back?) Are you aware of any conspiracies? My landlord wanting to kick me out. What is it that interests you about photography? Its stillness. What is the worst thing about city life? Bad air. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Russia. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Not sure… those that i would align myself with, are surely forgotten. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Definitely a Marine biologist. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? I wish I had a camera as a kid, 2-8 years old. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Marine Biologist. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. Boris Mikhailov’s photo of a glue-sniffing kid sitting next to an old lady. That photo, for me, is like one of those optical illusion pics, I dont want to look at it and dont have the energy for the mental effort that it requires but if I decide to concentrate on it, it starts vibrating and locks me in until I get a headache. The pics that I really love are the ones that i have never figured how to talk about. How often do you take other people’s advice? Pretty often, Im OK, getting better at that. Which living person do you most admire? Neil Young. On what occasion do you lie? I dont lie, I exaggerate.

What is the best way to educate yourself? Observe? What is the next book you want to read? I would love to read Crime and Punishment for the third time. I dont have the peace of mind or the time. Ultimate camera? They are all good Most used camera? Small and cheap digitals that I dont care if they break. What object do you want? These really cool designer sunglasses, I imagine that once i have them, it will compensate for how sloppy I look. What object do you need? I definitely don’t need those sunglasses. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? This like, really…insane invisible thing, that like… people somehow connect to, in some really weird way with these strange machines and then have access to like… too much information. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? I wish I was stronger. Describe a cheap thrill. If it thrills me than its worth it! Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. I wish I could be a photographer in Palestine /Israel during the 30s, 40s and 50s knowing what i know today. Are impulses more important than consequences? No! consequences are important!! Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could play music an instrument, any instrument. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? It’s a day off. I hope to read for an hour and then I would like to ride the bike for a couple of hours and perhaps find something to shoot. In the evening Ill go pick up my kid from day care.

Barak Zemer Lives and works in Los Angeles. He is originally from Jerusalem, Israel.

Zemer has an MFA from the USC Roski school of Art and Design (2013) and a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem (2008).

Zemer has showed in venues such as in Night Gallery, Altman Siegel gallery, CEPA Gallery Buffalo, Ballroom Marfa, Fusedspace, Joan Gallery, Ltd Los Angeles, The international Photography Festival in Tel Aviv and the Haifa Museum. His work has been written about and reviewed in numerous publications such as Artforum, Los Angeles Review of Books, Contemporary Art Los Angeles (Carla), LA Weekly and The New&Bad Magazine.

Zemer is currently a senior lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and at the University of California, Riverside. To see more of Barak Zemer’s work visit — barakzemer.com