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Large grey metal door with alarm on wall, on cover of 'Architecture of an Existential Threat', by Edition Lammerhuber.

Architecture of an Existential Threat

By (author) Adam Reynolds
By (author) Danielle Spera


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  • This is the first book which offers a broad cultural and geographical typology of shelter spaces in Israel
  • The fantastic photographs seek to straddle the distinct worlds of fine art and reportage exploring ideas of modern Israeli identity
  • The photographer approaches the interiors with a careful and patient eye to the aesthetic composition of the space, in the historical tradition of architectural photography, with the goal to offer the viewer the empty space for personal reflection and contemplation
Full Description

From its foundation in 1948, the state of Israel has felt isolated and under threat from enemies. This collective siege mentality manifests itself with over 1 million public and private shelters. The Israelis have integrated these ‘Doomsday spaces’ into their everyday life and transformed them into spaces that look like normal dance studios, bars or temples. For many people in Israel who live with a personal history of exile and persecution, these shelters are the architecture of an existential threat both real and perceived. Adam Reynolds shot the images in this book over the course of three years, from 2013 to 2015. The photographs offer a broad cultural and geographical typology of the shelter spaces by documenting them on either side of the Green Line, throughout Israel and the Occupied Territories, in an effort to offer the broadest survey possible. They straddle the distinct worlds of fine art and reportage. “Working in a country like Israel, it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate art from social reality,” says Adam Reynolds.

About the Author

Adam Reynolds is a documentary photographer with his focus on the Middle East. He holds a master of fine arts degree in photography and bachelor degrees in journalism and political science from Indiana University, along with a master degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Hebrew University. His areas of focus include modern Middle Eastern politics, Islamic studies and photo journalism. This academic background enables him to balance photographic creativity with a journalist's thematic fidelity. In this way he has produced exceptional documents of the times, which have earned him many awards and are presented in exhibitions. Danielle Spera graduated in journalism and political science. From 1978 to 2010 she worked as a journalist, reporter, presenter and editorial adviser at ORF. Then during 1987/88 she was ORF correspondent in Washington. Since 2010 she has been the director of the Jewish Museum Vienna, and since 2013 she has worked as a university counselor at MUI, and president of ICOM Austria. She won the Romy award in1991 and 2007. From1990 to 2002, she has lectured in the Department of Communication, University of Vienna, and she is the author of numerous books and articles for the magazine NU on contemporary art, and general Jewish topics.

Edition Lammerhuber
9th Aug 2017
World excluding Germany, Switzerland, & Austria
275 mm x 220 mm
144 Pages
72 color
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