Hagar Cygler’s ‘Hana’ presents dozens of photographs left behind by a woman named Hana. Cygler discovered them by accident, after they had been thrown out and found their way into a store in Jaffa’s flea market, a moment before they got scattered and lost. In every photo, Hana is standing at the entrance to her apartment, smiling to the camera, and wearing something else each time. A date is written on the back of each photo. The earliest is in 1980 and the latest is in the early 1990s. The identical location and similar pose serve to emphasize the little differences between the pictures: in addition to the different clothes, some interior design items are added and others are gone, jewelry, keys stuck in the door, lighting differences, and so on. Time also leaves its marks. Hana documented herself before the age of the Internet, Facebook and Instagram. She didn’t even have an email account. She mailed some of the photos to friends and family members, and kept others in albums, together with hundreds of still other photos. Her fashion photo series includes 47 pictures taken in more than a decade, probably without giving any thought to their destiny after the photographer and model have passed away.
These photos, collected here before you, paint a certain picture of Hana, but what kind of picture is it, and what does it say? Hana is a book that immortalizes something. That much is clear. But what? Hana? The clothes she wore and modeled? The apartment’s decor? Printed photography in its dying days?