Digital artist Ran Bensimon always preferred screens to reality
Ran Bensimon • Digital artist • 31 years old • Lives in Jerusalem
Who am I?
Until two years ago, Ran Bensimon lived in France and was mainly involved in video documentary work. Among other things, he also worked as a production assistant at Yad Vashem and shot in documentary productions on their behalf in Eastern European countries. But with the onset of this strange epidemic, the name of which no longer needs to be pronounced, he too has returned to the country and sank into abysmal uncertainty. Among the closures, in his Jerusalem apartment, he found himself reverting to 3D software and virtual reality. He produces projects and posts tests on Instagram without knowing where he will go or go. This created international contacts and impressive collaborations, most notably with Iranian video artist Shirin Nashat and photographer Abdullah Almaz from Dubai, thanks to which he came to Balenciaga Middle East in a production for Savoir Flair magazine. This is how he came to work in the Ramadan campaign of Michael Kors in Dubai.
How would you define what you do?
“I use photography and video, augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D animation. I research works that come from new technological developments and how they change the way we create and communicate. These new developments can also be filters on Instagram, for that matter. In a short time, the filters became an almost stand-alone platform.
Despite the pompous announcement, can we already say that the filters can also be considered a work of art?
“These are changes in the differences of weeks. Suddenly there is a digital art festival designed just for the AR of filters. I was wondering if I was going in the business sense of makeup and lip touch-ups, or in an avant-garde art direction that interests me more. And I can’t really say where else it will go.
In 2018, he graduated from Bezalel with a specialization in video and new media from the department of screen arts. His latest project, #RELATABLE, is a short film featuring a young man addicted to screens who connects to a game through which he searches for human connections. Spoiler: He doesn’t succeed. “I realized one simple thing – it all happens on screen at the end. Everything that interests me, everything that I create and from which I am inspired. This insight helped me develop my language.
Born and raised in Jerusalem, third among four siblings. His mother worked in the Ministry of Education in the marketing and distribution of textbooks for ultra-Orthodox educational institutions and his father in the Electric Company. “I dreamed of being an archaeologist like Lara Croft and discovering magnificent tombs in the ruins of ancient Egypt. “
So can you say that the internet has raised you up?
“I spent a lot of time in front of the computer. I lived in a neighborhood with kids who liked to fight, so I hated going out. At home he was calm and protected. I loved staying with The Sims and Lara, who actually raised me, in other worlds. I developed an immense desire for three-dimensional figures. I knew the names of all the models and fashion houses I saw on FTV. When I was 16, I created a virtual model who represented Israel at the world’s first digital beauty pageant. “
Who am I with?
“Most of the friends and people around me are in a relationship, most even with a child or two. It’s something that keeps me busy lately. “
Until last week, his latest film was featured in the “Encounters in the Wadi” exhibition at the Pyramid Center for Contemporary Art in Haifa, as part of an Artist Inviting Artist. He was the guest of the excellent Aviad (Avik) Boguslawski. “I would like my work to be a place of escape. Movies, TV shows, and music videos have been a very important outlet for me as a kid who wanted to escape reality. They even touched her directly.
How for example?
“In August 2001, I was in the city center with my father and my little brother. They wanted to eat pizza and I was in no way okay with missing an episode of Digimon, or Pokémon, I can’t remember. I insisted we go home and an hour later the place blew up in an attack. An animation made in Japan saved me and my family in Jerusalem. “