Tel Aviv-based photographer Ronen Goldman has been working for almost a decade on a series of conceptual images he has titled “Surrealistic Pillow.” These images inhabit a variety of dreamlike scenarios – perhaps unsurprising because they tend to come to Ronen in his dreams.
I try to extract elements of the dream, sometimes an abstract feeling but sometimes it’s actual objects or places. I then think about the overall atmosphere of the idea, and why it had such a pronounced effect on me.
For this image, titled “Danger Close,” it was instead Ronen’s waking preoccupation with the results of some medical tests that inspired him to make an image with a much darker mood than the rest of the series.
My wife and I recently had to deal with some life-threatening medical issues. With such a life-changing danger looming ahead of us, I was amazed to observe her resolve and positivity.
The production decisions and equipment selected to create this image also echo the personal themes: Ronen chose a Mamiya RZ67 and Kodak Portra 400 to not only influence the color rendition and structure of the final image but to also echo the anticipation of waiting for lab results.
After a long week of being in the dark and in limbo- the day we were to find out what the test results were, I decided we should go ahead and do this photoshoot. I find that art helps, sometimes, to deal with life when it gets rough.
Aside from the challenges of working with film, the bunker proved impervious to the wireless flash triggers, which required a little trial and error when repositioning the light in the entrance tunnel. After several adjustments and some digital shots, it was a mere matter of days before seeing the final scans.
Waiting for the film to be developed took a few days of anticipation, but after scanning the negatives I saw I got exactly what I wanted.
In a feat of multi-tasking, Ronen was also able to capture a BTS video, edited by Sivan Mor Goldman, Ronen’s wife and the woman depicted in “Danger Close.”
Ronen plans to continue the “Surrealistic Pillow” project indefinitely and is now even more interested in continuing his work with film.
Man: Boaz Gordon
Woman: Sivan Mor Goldman
Editing: Sivan Mor Goldman
See more of Ronen at ronengoldman.com!