An international performance art conference is scheduled to open on May 22, marking 25 years since the curtain went up for the School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem.
Some 50 artists and scholars from Israel and abroad are slated to take part in the three-day conference, which is expected to become a bi-annual event. Prominent participants include Ruti Director, Smadar Yaaron, Tamar Raban, Rubi Edelman, Maia Donitz, and troupes such as Eifo Dana (Where is Dana?) and Sala-Manka.
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"Over time, performance art has become a basic, relevant idea in the art world," says Gai Guttman, artistic director of the conference. "It crosses the borders of the stage and belongs to different media."
Artist Tamar Raban (Photo: Anat Meisberg)
In addition to performances and video art, the conference – titled "Performance 0:1" – will also serve as a platform for discussion, panels, lectures, and meetings with artists.
The theme of the conference is involvement and will address the public and private aspects of the art form. "In a year in which personal and social involvement are front and center in Israel and the world, the line between personal activity and public gestures becomes blurred," Guttman explains, adding that the public sphere has now become a major stage for performance art.
"The massive flocking to the social protests raised a lot of questions about the social involvement of each individual and redefined the existing relationship between the individual and the collective," Guttman elaborated. "The conference will touch on the meanings and possibilities of artistic activity in light of the current political reality, the aestheticism of public activity, and the politicization of an artistic event."
During the three days of the conference, the School of Visual Theater will serve as an open performance area in which attendees will be welcome to move from one event to the next. The school also plans to open its library and screening room, and the public is invited to attend meetings with artists, lectures, and panels – all at no cost.