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 – I would assemble them from everyday life and reassemble them with the medium’s artistic means: duration, objects and audience. Using objects unconventionally, forgoing their original role, my performance art was characterized by sculptural values and abstract thinking. Another principal element in my work was the “here and now” of the live body: the body as both substance and emotional presence.
Throughout my work with performance, my views on the role of documentation evolved. Initially, I focused on the moment of creation, on transience and erasure. I was therefore ambivalent towards documentation. Later on, the reticence and mundanity of performance ceased to satisfy and began to constrain me. Recently I’ve approached video as a maturation of an inquisitive process which I’m experiencing both in my work and my studies.
During my MA in film theory at Tel Aviv University my research focused on the relations between the living body and the documenting film camera. What intrigued me was the different attitudes cinema and performance held towards time. Whereas performance embodies the transient, fleeting present, cinema affixes the image in time and embodies a victory over death and the body’s obliteration. Both share the duration, but in cinema time isn’t the living present of performance, but a recorded, preserved, duration. This triumph over death offers a site in which the occurrence is larger than life, and enables the creation of a spectacle, a locus where logic do not apply.
During my studies I searched for new modes of expression that would resonate my interest in the relations between body and media, culminating in two projects I created with Julia Turbahn. Corporal action is pivotal in these projects, but what interested us was not the live event, but the ability to encode corporal action into other media such as video, text and drawing. This encoding enables the mass distribution of the performance, where the performer’s identity is inconsequential.
If documentation was an appendix to my performance work, it now serves as a platform in which actions take place. I preserve the liveliness characteristic of performance through the style of directing. By using real duration actions and improvisation I leave room for the unexpectedness characterizing the present. Video enables me to manipulate time and space by using a multitude of cameras, screen splitting and editing.
This encounter between the cinematic and the performative, and the way in which they illuminate or disrupt each other, is what fascinates me today.