Not sure how I feel about this new photo exhibit in Amsterdam by Igor Kruter. He has photographed 7 Israeli soldiers, women who have been drafted like all other Israelis, but are considered warriors like the men, in their battle gear, as he would in a fashion shoot. They wear jewelery, hold stuffed animals, pose like models, but carry guns and wear fatigues.
I’m reminded of Israeli photographer Adi Nes and his staged image Israeli soldiers sitting across a table in the style of the famed-Jesus painting “The Last Supper.” Perhaps this exhibit also reeks of the Israeli models who talked of their army conscription as they posed in barely-there wares for Maxim magazine.
One model, Dikla Mimouni (pictured at the very top of the page,) is highlighted in an article by Ilse van Heusden, and she speaks of her “relationship” with her gun and the approving comments she gets from people in the street. After all, she has volunteered for her battle group; most women don’t go to battle. Other models, like Odi and Tania, wear rolled up sleeves, stick flowers in their hair and carry dolls.
Most of the items are from their childhood. The soft lighting in the back, the article says, is to give the feeling of a fashion shoot. Hardly.
I like what Igor is trying to do, but they hardly look womanly to me, with the harsh army clothes, and the guns at their waist. He says that he noticed women stand differently then men and therefore, asked them to have more effeminate items at the shoot.
All girls are part of Karakal, the only battle group in the IDF where boys and girls follow the same training and do the same jobs.
Igor Kruter is a 30-year old Israeli who studied at the Arnhem art academy in Amsterdam. He won the Tarbut prize in Israel for his work. The series is on display at the Eduard Planting Gallery in Amsterdam through January.
Source: NRC Handelsblad