Complementary counterparts

The Kontrapunkt series at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art brings together visual and performance arts.

March 10, 2014 15:57
3 minute read.

Yasmin Godder (Gadi Dagon). (photo credit: Courtesy)


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In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two voices that are harmonically interdependent yet independent in rhythm and contour. The union of these voices allows for the emergence of a new, complete sound. This concept is the inspiration for the Tel Aviv Museum’s series Kontrapunkt, which brings together visual and performance arts. Next weekend, the second edition of the series, Kontrapunkt #2: Smashing the Stereotypes: Deformation and Feminism, will feature Yasmeen Godder’s dance piece See Her Change and Alina Szapocznikow’s sculpture exhibition “Body Traces.” “We chose the name Kontrapunkt because it describes exactly what we are trying to do with this series. There is the exhibition, and then there is the dance piece. Their meeting creates a new thing,” says Lior Avizoor, curator of the dance series. When Avizoor first saw Szapocznikow’s exhibition, she immediately thought of Godder’s trio See Her Change. “There is a strong connection between Alina Szapocznikow’s works and See Her Change. The connection is built on content. Both works deal with feminine stereotypes and the deconstruction of female roles. Both Godder and Szapocznikow are dealing with destruction, deformation and feminism,” she says. Szapocznikow is considered one of the most influential feminist artists to have emerged from World War II Poland. Her sculptures, many of which she cast on her own body, present dismembered segments of the female body. Foregoing classical beauty for honesty, Szapocznikow presents a candid and unusual look at femininity. In her choreographies, Godder prefers raw emotion to pretty lines and flowing movements. Her works are aggressive, brutal and deeply moving. In See Her Change, Godder and dancers explore the concept of the changes a woman experiences in life. Avizoor is a PhD student at Tel Aviv University. She has performed in Israel, Europe and Mexico. Since returning to Israel, she has initiated the Maakaf online magazine and the Room Dance Festival. She teaches at the Beit Zvi Acting School and at the Kelim School for Choreography in Bat Yam. For Avizoor, the meeting of movement and visual art offers endless intrigue. The introduction of dance into gallery spaces has been a growing trend in recent years in Europe and North America. Leaving the proscenium stage behind for a more enriching backdrop, choreographers have taken to the museum, where audience members can experience their works in a different, interactive way. “There are infinite ways of introducing dance into the museum space. As the curator of this series, I was involved with the development of the concept from square one. I wanted to make thematic and aesthetic connections between existing dance pieces and new exhibitions in the museum,” Avizoor explains. Kontrapunkt #1: Conflict as Raw Material brought together choreographer Arkadi Zaides’s Quiet and artist and political activist Gustav Metzger’s Testimony and Action. In that series, Avizoor found a connective thread between the inspirations behind the two artists’ works. German-born Metzger developed a creative strategy known as Auto-Destructive Art. His works were often a response to current events, namely catastrophic events. In recent years, Zaides has created dances as a reaction to the political situation in Israel. The choreographies of Zaides, who is a recipient of the Emile Zola Human Rights Award, are as critical as they are kinetic. As for the future of Kontrapunkt, Avizoor remains vague. “We hand pick our exhibitions very carefully. We won’t necessarily present a Kontrapunkt with every new exhibition in the museum. I can’t say for sure, but it might take some time before we find the right combination again,” she says. The dance performance will be followed by a discussion entitled “Smashing Feminine Stereotypes” with Avizoor, Godder, exhibition curator Ahuva Israel and Polish curator and art critic Anda Rottenberg. Kontrapunkt #2 will take place on March 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

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