“One might speak of an unforgettable life or moment even if all men had forgotten it,” the philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote. “That predicate would not imply a falsehood but merely a claim unfulfilled by men, and also a realm in which it is fulfilled: God’s remembrance.” Frydlender (like Benjamin) is a secular Jew, and his vision is quite reasonably a dark one, yet there is also in his pictures a faint yearning for redemption, as if by knitting together moments otherwise lost to history he might help make a broken world whole again.

His second New York show includes pictures taken in various Israeli venues–a makeshift nightclub, for example, with Elvis enshrined on the wall, where a middle-aged crooner serenades a room half filled with Tel Avivan slackers. The spliced images make the club’s floor curve like a boat’s hull–a Noah’s ark or ship of fools, carrying the tattered remnants of a counterculture.

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