Tal Alperstein (1985) received her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, and her MA from the School of Film and Television, Tel Aviv University. Alperstein is a multidisciplinary artist, working with performance and video. At the center of her interest is the encounter between the cinematic and the performative, and the way in which they illuminate or distort each other.
Alperstein has presented her work at exhibitions and festivals in Israel, Europe and East Asia. Her last solo exhibition was shown in Liebling haus Tel-Aviv 2022. Her short film Home Movie is the winning film of 2021 at the Videodrunk Festival of Alternative Cinema in Ontario, Canada. Her video works were screened at the Art Biennale in Kaunas Lithuania, at NEXT! Doc-Aviv Festival, and at D’EST Plovdiv Bulgaria. Alperstein received grants for her work from the Rabinovich Foundation, the Tel Aviv Municipality's special projects factory, and the Lottery Fund for Art and Culture.
Performance art has always been my main field of work. If initially I focused on live performance, I now create video works that function as locations for performative expression. The choice of live performance began with the desire to make transient art. I realized it facilitates direct interaction with the spectator, enabling me to address issues of intimacy and embarrassment. In my first works, various actions became my toy bricks with the principal element being the “here and now” of the live body: both substance and emotional presence.
A few years ago I applied for an MA in Film Theory at TLV University. My research focused on the relationship between the living body and the documenting film camera. What intrigued me was the different attitudes cinema and performance held toward time. Both share the duration, but whereas performance embodies the transient, fleeting present, cinema affixes the image in time and embodies a victory over death and the body’s obliteration. This triumph over death offers a site in which the occurrence is larger than life, a locus where logic does not apply.
Whereas in my performance art, the documentation did not play a substantial role, now documentation, that is, cinematic space and time become the place where actions take place. In my video works, the encounter between performance and cinema enables me to study these media through each other. Within the spectacular cinematic language, in a world where time is efficiently edited, I allow the action, real-time, everyday life, and tedium, to linger. This is how I illuminate the transient, the dreariness in our cinematic fantasy.
Performing an action in cinematic space also enables me to contemplate the living body. The filmed body can act in ways that cannot be realized outside the digital world: taken apart and constructed, shifted in time, and replicated. I use these editing techniques for emotional expression connected to the director’s instructions. This is how I create a digital human-machine, exploring the emotional baggage of this hybrid character.
Alongside the investigation of the body, I use video and performance as a means of examining architectural spaces. My writing technique is writing into space. First, there is the structure, into which the present bodies and the actions are assembled – collectively creating the process in time. Given the way in which the script materializes, the result is never linear.
These days I am creating performance work for public space. In the new work I will use live actions connected to language and speech, and the connection between the talking body and technology media that also transmit words as a means of establishing contact. Through the connection between analog and digital communication I intend to study the public space into which I cast the work: how messages navigate from place to place as a means of examining movement, and the physical limitation the specific space enables or inhibits.