"The thin line between homo-social and homo-erotic in army life can be so confusing and torturous for a gay soldier. Soldiers hug and kiss each other, say "I love you brother" to each other, sleep together - sometimes lean on each others' chests, sometimes share a tiny mattress, have communal showers where they play "boy games" like throwing water and soap on each other, sometimes share a hot shower, sometimes masturbate together."
A CHAOS OF APPEARANCES (excerpt)
My work is autobiographical and references the self and identity. I use the medium of photography as a way of recording experiences, capturing moments from my everyday life to draw on physical, mental and emotional levels. I use these fragments as a self reflective diary; a way of archiving my own identity and my environment.
In my first series of photographs, I recreated scenes from my days as a soldier in the Israeli army. This series entitled ‘Views’ addresses the fine line that divides the homo-social and the homo-erotic aspects of lives of soldiers in the army. These images depict soldiers living their lives in their brotherly proximity to each other and hinted at the tensions and desires that may have existed between these young men, as they had for me during my youth in the army.
Another series from this period is entitled ‘Fragments of Life’, a series of staged images where I lead the viewer into a world of memory, conflict and trapped emotion which I experienced as an adolescent growing up in a deeply conservative and religious society.
- Kobi Israel from his website