Project Ten began as a farewell to a camera. These last eight years the Mamiya 7 camera has served Eyal Fried well, but in the last two years he rarely used it with the change to newer technologies. Shortly before finally letting go and selling it, Eyal decided to loan it to ten photographers. One last chance to show him (and us) what it can do (and not just by him, but in other hands, people he knows and loves). Eyal gave each photographer one shot. One press of the button. That was the condition. They could keep the camera for as long as necessary until the moment they pressed and shot. Then the camera was transferred on, to the next photographer. Ten photographers, ten presses, ten shots.
The project took almost a year to complete.
Fried’s farewell to his camera raises questions regarding the intimate relationship between photographer and camera, between people and photography. Also, questions emerge about the practices of the photographic act – planned or incidental, introspective or instinctive, the simple act of pressing a button. Concurrently, the farewell gesture also marks this exhibitions focus on that moment of transition when the analog camera was replaced by the digital. A musing about this period in time, about this occupation, and about its values.
This one single frame, a conscious act of choice, seems to contrast with the usual perception of the replicated, photographed image. Thus, a simple and beaten feature, already worn with overuse – is transformed into a principle of action – the “outer” framework of this project. This is a conceptual project that requires content to make it into an exhibition. It begins with a rule, or a condition, that establishes the very soul of the project. The end product, the exhibition, is therefore the end of a process, or the beginnings of an ability to see – to examine photography, and reality.
The “One Frame” rule or principle can be a moment of liberation, a release of discipline; it can be an almost instinctive flash of action, a unique moment that captures attention and provokes thought. The general aim of this condition is to expose the practices of photographers, their stance, and thus also impact viewers, allowing room for their position. A “one-on-one” with ten photographers, ten shots, ten photographs.
Text by: Menachem Goldenberg