The Allenby Projectby Camea Smith | 19.02.18
Danielle Rosenkrantz and Dana Weingart are best friends and artistic collaborators. A year ago, they began working on a series of portraits that celebrates the quirkiness and flamboyance of Allenby, one of Tel Aviv’s most controversial streets. Allenby stretches from the Opera tower overlooking the sea to HaAliya Street in south Tel Aviv. It is a street of polar opposites, with strip clubs on one side and Tel Aviv’s Great Synagogue on the other, complete with designer stores, tacky bargain shops and refined cafés and bars. In the duo’s photographs, the bustling street transforms into a backdrop for sartorial fantasies.
Wearing matching outfits that were carefully assembled by the street’s various shop vendors, they pose to the camera, Dana on the right and Danielle on the left, both gazing ahead, hands entwined. The chosen looks vary in eras and styles – from bejewelled evening dresses to masculine suits and from floral summer frocks to outdated under garments. In several photographs, their private dress up game is confronted with the scrutiny of an outsider’s gaze. In one of the shots, they emerge to the street, clad in lingerie, and a pedestrian surveys their exposed bodies. In another, an elderly man joins in and poses to the camera, sprawled theatrically on a motorbike.
They note that every part of the project, from beginning to end, takes place on Allenby street. The medium format camera that they use was purchased on the street. After each photography session, Dana and Danielle return to their apartments, located on different parts of Allenby. The photographer who collaborates with them is Shay Daniely, Danielle’s partner who lives with her, and the films are eventually developed in an adjacent photo printing lab. Ever since they began to work on the project, every stroll has become an inspiring experience, sparking new ideas of ways to depict the ever changing street.