Using sound and air to develop a conceptual architecture as a post-Zionist critique, performance artist Tobaron Waxman collaborates with dancer Jesse Zaritt and composer James Hurley to present a motion activated sound installation. Mechitza 7.1 uses field recordings Waxman made in the occupied territories of Palestine, and in men’s prayer spaces from his Chassidic life in New York. In Tobaron’s unique collaborative process, a movement score and soundscape for motion playback were created simultaneously. At ICI, for this beta version/performance, rather than a motiontracking interface, the soundscape will be played live, together with the movement. This way the concept of a separation wall / border trauma is presented as a series of sound and motion events. A mechitza is the separation architecture between women and men in a Jewish prayer space. ‘7.1’ is both a Jewish metatextual reference about nation and destiny as well as indicative of this piece being composed for surround sound with 7.1 channels. An elision is made between sacred/taboo space, and ‘ethnically cleansed’ space, using interactive audio, as a way to interrogate the notion of border. Mechitza 7.1. reflects on the segregatory architecture that controls public and private space, imposed by the state.
Tobaron Waxman is a conceptual artist using performance, text, lens related and time based media. Waxman studied traditional Jewish texts, liturgy, law, chaplaincy, and music and ritual practices in various Orthodox Yeshivas from 2003 to 2007. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Waxman’s work has been exhibited at international venues including Videotage Hong Kong, Kunsthalle Vienna, Vdance Tel Aviv/Ramallah, MoCA Wisconsin, WIDC Chicago, COCCA Seattle, Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, MIX NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival, MIX Sao Paolo, and others. His writing, performance documentation and photography have been published in Carte Blanche: Canada’s first juried photography compendium (2006), Post Porn Politics (2010), Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community, Noach Dzmura, ed. (2010), Fuse, Canadian Dimension, Afterimage, Times UK, GLQ and LTTR. Waxman has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including from the Canada and Toronto Arts Councils, Experimental Television Center NY, Van Leir Fellowship, the Henry Moore Foundation for Sculpture, the Franklin Furnace Award for Performance, NYC, and, most recently, ICI Berlin. In 2010, he is the recipient of the first ever Audience Award at the Jewish Museum of New York for his performance installation ‘Opshernish’.
Jesse Zaritt completed a Master of Fine Arts in Dance through Hollins University/The American Dance Festival (2008) and holds a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude in Visual Art and Dance from Pomona College (2000). He was a Dorot Fellow (2006) and has danced with Shen Wei Dance Arts (2001-2006) and the Inbal Pinto Dance Company (2008). Jesse has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival for the past three summers and has taught at universities and festivals in Russia, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Israel, and throughout the United States of America. His solo work ‘Binding’ is the recipient of three 2010 New York Innovative Theater Awards: Best Choreography, Best Solo Performance, and Best Performance Art Production.
James Hurley is an Australian sound designer and composer living in Berlin. James’ current interests are focused on spatial music composition and immersive media. For the past decade James has also taught at the University of Technology, Sydney and led the activities of the UTS: MediaLab.
Tobaron Waxman and ICI Berlin
With the participation of Prof. Dr. Martin Supper and students from the Sound Studies Department, Berlin University of the Arts.