Atypical Performance

A cast of actors is assembled to do the unexpected. 

Gestural painter, Miriam Cabessa instructed the actors to do one thing, remove their masks. The masks the artist refers to are the ones reached for daily, during the first bleary moments of morning, airtight, opaque and in a constant state of evolution. The haircut to look the part, the sensible shoes alluding to competency, the remarks made to remind others of our position, to remain in character, to corroborate with our own trope. During “Night Painting”, a collaborative painting exercise at the Beit Uri and Rami Nehoshtan contemporary art museum on kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov, Cabessa partnered with theater director, Noam Ben Azar, and instructed the cast of five actors to just be. 

The activity explores what unfolds when no direction is given. When we surrender ourselves, what do our bodies do? What does surrendering ourselves look like? Cabessa added and removed paint from the canvas during the four hour process where the actors let their inhibitions disintegrate, while prostrating themselves across the canvas. Sliding their fingers into color, familiarizing themselves with the material, the actors leave smears of movement behind. The four hour process will be played on a loop alongside the final artwork at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in March 2019.

The project goes beyond the removal of masks. It pushes participants to reveal what those masks actually are. The confrontation is extensive, identifying who we are, understanding our own masks and uncovering the illusions we have of ourselves.

Photos by Erez Bit. Details from Night Painting.


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