Using the Old Testament book "Ruth," photographer Benyamin Reich opens up a special perspective on the intertwining of sexuality and spirituality - and the experience of being outcast - in his exhibition "Lust for Holiness" at the ID Festival. Reich talks about biblical, Talmudic and mystical dimensions of archetypal encounters - and how these relate to the development of photography in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Jewish mystical teaching holds that great human achievements must first be born in a low place, in the place of darkness. From here they can rise to new heights, transforming on their way everything they take with them from the bottom to the top. This is also how the biblical book "Ruth" is to be understood, which is read on the feast of Shavuot. The protagonist Ruth, born into the tribe of Moabites cursed by Yahweh, rises up and gives birth to the lineage of David, the progenitor of the Messiah. Ruth's fate - and the associated reinterpretation, even canonization, of originally forbidden sexual unions - finds its parallel in other biblical figures, including Tamar, Bat Sheva, and Esther, as well as later Jewish heroines and thinkers such as Shabbtai Tzvi.
The birth of light from darkness is embodied in the eyes of Beyamin Reich through the photographer's camera. In this way, he not only opens up an unusual perspective on the intertwining of sexuality and spirituality, but also on what it means to be an inwardly wandering person who has been excluded from his childhood and his homeland.
With the series MIFGASHIM, the ID Festival 2022 invites to special encounters: Encounters between different languages and cultures, between different religions, and first and foremost encounters between people. Visitors can look forward to meeting leading figures of the young Israeli community in Germany: publisher, editor, author and translator Dr. Dory Manor, Arab-Jewish poet, author, activist and journalist Mati Shemuelof and photographer Benyamin Reich. There will also be a unique opportunity to meet Israeli rock star Eran Zur vis-à-vis.