Feinstein: What differences did you notice in how you approached Russia vs Israel vs Cuba vs Prospect Park vs Former Yugoslavia?
Rozovsky: The practical approach is always the same and looks like a hummingbird dance where I’m hovering around what’s interesting in a skittish, excited, zigzagging way. I usually want to move, in a rental car, a bus, a train going from town to town, hopping out often, some initial locations on my radar that I never get to but stumble on something better in the process.
I often start in the city and work my way to the countryside or towards a body of water, then back to the city again. But it all takes shape in real time and the route, drawn out on a map afterward, would be like irrational cat scratches.
In Russia I was wading through a private daydream, grasping for recognition, trying to connect what I remembered with the physicality of things before me. I found that memory works in inexplicable ways, in another sense we know little about. In Israel, time and memory took on an infinitely more complex dimension, my family’s modern story just a tiny strand in the colossal Gordian knot of the wandering Jew.
I have been accused of not taking a stronger position with my Israeli photographs, or picking a side, but my claim is that the work is inescapably political. The cover image is a symbol of the nature of conflict and a choice to remain neutral in choosing a side is indeed the position. Through these two projects, I located my approach towards place – involved but withdrawn, a hermit-like journalist (by the way did you know a Hermit is a type of hummingbird?), weaving a tapestry from personal and universal threads.