Entry Title: "Intermarried"
Name: Yael Ben-Zion , United States
Category and Expertise: People|Fine Art|Deeper Perspective, Professional


Entry Description: Intermarried (Kehrer, 2013) explores the notion, and questions the implications, of intermarriage. I initiated the project by contacting an online parent group in Washington Heights, my NY neighborhood, inviting couples who define themselves as ‘mixed couples’ to participate. Being myself intermarried, I was interested in the many challenges faced by couples who choose to share their lives regardless of their different origins, ethnicities, races or religions. Drawing on the experience of my subjects, I have constructed a subtle narrative that deals, through images and text, with the complex, multifaceted issues posed by intermarriage.

Story: The idea behind the project was not to illustrate what ‘mixed couples’ look like. Rather, through images and texts culled mostly from a questionnaire I asked my subjects to fill out, “Intermarried” reflects on the personal experience of my subjects within a wider social and political context. Selected text to submitted images: #2 Frames Beatrice Rippy married Carroll Hollister in New York in 1959, one year after Mildred and Richard Loving got married in Washington, D.C. to avoid the anti-miscegenation statutes of their home state, Virginia. New York is one of the nine states in the US that never enacted anti-miscegenation laws. #3 Murphy bed “The term “mixed” is strictly an outsider observation. It is a term that “others” would use to define what their eyes see. All couples, gay, straight, summer/winter ... all get reduced to common life themes: time with each other, money, sex, children. All relationships are destined to become ordinary. Most people in “same/same” relationships would be surprised at how quickly “different” disappears and you become just two people trying to sustain friendship and happiness.” —Cedric #4 The Little Prince "We are coming from different countries, France and Israel. Obviously our mother tongues are different, but it goes deeper than this. Our basic cultural backgrounds are different. And since Ben and Daniel were born, we got more opportunities to feel it. It always comes as an amusing surprise when we realize that we both used to watch a similar cartoon or enjoyed the same book…" —Ugo

About the Artist:

Yael Ben-Zion is a New York-based photographer whose work often considers the relationship of the personal to the political. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yale Law School and ICP. Yael's work has been exhibited in the United States and in Europe and she is the recipient of various grants and awards, including ICP’s Directors’ Scholarship Award, the International Photography Awards and recent grants from NoMAA and the Puffin Foundation. In 2007, her photograph ‘Crash’ was selected for the cover of American Photography 23. Yael’s first monograph, 5683 miles away (Kehrer, 2010), was selected as one of photo-eye’s Best Books of 2010 and for the PDN Photo Annual 2011. It was also a nominee for the German Photo Book Award 2011. Intermarried (Kehrer, 2013), her second monograph, was selected for American Photography 30 and featured, among others, in the NY Times Sunday Review, PDN Magazine and the Forward.