Ha Aretz (The Promised Land)
Ha Aretz is a photographic interpretation of biblical landscapes, in the midst of a globalized world marked by alienation, consumerism, technology and conflict. Conceived from photographs taken in the countries that currently make up most of the ancient Holy Land, named after the Aramaic expression that refers to the Promised Land, the project is conceptualized with the aim of documenting very precisely the locations where –according to archaeologists and biblical historians– the most famous events of the sacred scriptures took place. Starting from the books of Genesis, Exodus, and the Prophets, and continuing with the life, miracles and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Ha Aretz is a contemporary study on faith and spirituality, while questioning the role of religion in the present world which is ruled by science and technology. Proposing an intimate resonance with biblical texts, this series offers a visual reflection on the idea of humanity’s progress in these ancestral regions and the cradle of civilizations -such as Galilee, Samaria or Judea-, the epicenter of Jewish, Christian and Arabic religions. At the same time, the images bear witness to the ferocious power that capitalism, technology and evil wield in our times. From Nazareth to Bethlehem, from the Sinai Peninsula to the Golan Heights, from the Nile River to the Dead Sea, the major regions of the Holy Books exist as nothing more than commodified spaces of leisure and suffering within a world of consecrated borders. In the Holy Land, landscapes, history and the past are consumed, converted into a kind of fossil embedded in the geographical and cultural skin. What finally persists is a totalitarian veneration of its supposed historicity, ethnicity, and monumentality. Veneration casts its shadow over the landscapes but excludes any alternative reading, mercilessly sowing an amnesia of beliefs.
Roger Grasas (b.1970, Barcelona) has a degree in Philosophy (UB), a Master’s degree in Aesthetics (UAB) and has Graduated with a degree in Photography (UPC). Grasas began his professional career as a photographer in 2002, documenting cooperation projects for international foundations and UNESCO. Since then, traveling has become the core of his artistic work, and he translates his experiences and reflects on his travels into visual arts. He is a regular contributor to several Spanish and international publications. His body of work examines the role of history, the significance that technology reveals within the post-modern digital society and the state of alienation and confusion that human beings suffer in the contemporary landscape. Sociopolitical issues such as globalization and philosophical concepts such as differences, hyperreality and alienation generated by the post-capitalist society and the accelerated implementation of new technologies are also common subjects of his work. His works have been exhibited in galleries in Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, USA, UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Mexico and more. His works Atenea ( RM 2017), Min Turab (RM 2018) and Ha Aretz (2022 Kehrer Verlag) have been shown? worldwide. During the last few years Grasas has been nominated and awarded in several international contests such as Art Photo Bcn 2014, Photolucida 2017 and he has won in the Exposure Awards 2018 held by LensCulture, HEAD On Festival 2018, and has been awarded the Discovery Prize at Photoespaña 2018.