Eitan Vitkon magnifies the Red Brigade’s impact through his photographic approach.
Eitan Vitkon, who specializes in long exposure and multi-frame photography, first came across the Red Brigade in Fall 2019. Born out of the XR (Extinction Rebellion), the global movement that raises awareness for environmental crises, the Red Brigade shares a similar sentiment. Originating in Bristol, the non-political movement is active in more than 60 countries. Gathering in public places, the members of the Red Brigade dress in monochromatic garb and in very slow movements, dance in unison. The group’s manifesto states that the color red symbolizes the blood all species share. Wearing red is an attempt to shed light on species that are becoming extinct and species that are suffering, including humans.
Before moving to New York City in 1996 to continue his studies at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, Vitkon had completed a degree in Architecture in Tel Aviv. During his last year at Pratt, Vitkon found his obsession. “I worked on a photography project dealing with paradoxes of urban cities, specifically in regards to reflections. How the architecture of the city seems so rigid in contrast to its amorphic reflections. I began staging mirrors all over New York City and taking photos nonstop,” Vitkon said. It wasn’t long before the young photographer’s work was noticed. He had his first exhibition at Broadway Windows, a gallery associated with New York University’s Curatorial Program. “I became a photographer after that exhibition,” Vitkon recalls. In 2010, after years of working in both architecture and photography, Vitkon switched gears and focused solely on his career as a photographer.
Combining both architecture and photography, Vitkon’s niche became capturing abstract urban landscapes with a focus on the passage of time in a still frame. Inspired by the way in which the Red Brigade used public spaces and their measured movements, Vitkon reached out to the Israel-branch of the international group. “We all met at my studio and I offered to take them around the country and shoot them in various locations.” In addition to shooting the group privately, Vitkon attends and photographs all of their public appearances.
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