About my work

Dafna Gazit, born in Israel 1971, living and working in Tel Aviv in the last fourteen years.
I have studied photography in Hadassa College of Technology in Jerusalem between the years 1994 and 1997, and graduated with a practical engineer diploma. In fall 2007 I began a full scholarship two-year program in Alma College for Hebrew Culture. Between the years 2004 and 2005 I studied in the Midrasha, School of Fine Arts, Beit Berl College. With the completion of my studies I collaborated with several other graduates and we established Alfred Gallery in Tel Aviv. Alfred Gallery is cooperative gallery for contemporary art and is a non-profitable organization which supports young artists by exhibiting their work. Alfred gallery takes a significant role in the contemporary young art scene in Tel Aviv.

My main activity as a photographer is dedicated to the research of the 19th century photographic processes.  During the last four years I have dedicated my work to recreate the first commercial photographic process: the Daguerreotype, named after its inventor Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre in 1839.

In the Daguerreotype process the image is made directly on a mirror like silver-iodide plate. It is developed with either mercury fumes or with direct sunlight filtered with red gelatin. As opposed to contemporary photography the Daguerreotype cannot be duplicated and is very fragile and can be rubbed off with a finger. The finished plate has to be angled so as to reflect some dark surface in order to view the image properly. Depending on the angle viewed, and the color of the surface reflected into it, the image can change from a positive to a negative.

The production of a single daguerreotype involves a series of complex operations, as opposed to the accessibility and immediacy of contemporary photography. This method restores matter to the photography practice and revives its lost magic: capturing light instead of capturing a moment.

My practice involves all the stages of production, from polishing and sensitizing the plates to fixing and gilding the final image. Thus I completely recreate the entire process as it has been done in the 19th century. Creating a daguerreotype throughout all its stages is the essence of my practice in photography.


Dafna Gazit