Entries in lilien (1)


E. M. Lilien (Hands of Gemini 10)


An interesting Gemini has turned up on my shelves, the photographer and artist E. M. Lilien (b. May 29, 1874). These two images comprise the front and back covers of The Art of Light, Photographic Aspects of E. M. Lilien, Jerusalem, 1992. The reciprocity between the two duplicative processes (photography and engraving), both practiced with great imagination and skill perfectly strikes the Geminian interval.

In Lilien’s involvement in newspaper, journalistic and reportage photography, book and periodical illustration, and art education, the resemblance to the German graphic master, Durer, is notable;
the stylistic resemblance is obvious. In the two illustrations above notice the importance of that symbol of Gemini, the subject’s hand.

There is bold adventure in a 25 year old eastern European Jew dragging cumbersome photographic equipment to the desert. Sometimes called “the first Zionist artist”, his photograph of Theodore Herzl is iconic. As Gemini needs continuously to communicate, to mediate, so Lilien felt that his art would help
bridge  both the jew/arab and the semite/European splits.