D is for Dada

#6 combines art and dance at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Kontrapunkt #6 (photo credit: PR)
Kontrapunkt #6
(photo credit: PR)
D is for Dada Kontrapunkt #6 combines art and dance at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art • By ORI J. LENKINSKI A letter on its own has little meaning – a shape, a construct, an arbitrary meeting of lines. However, when put together into words and thoughts, letters have the power to move mountains, stir our hearts and change the world. One hundred years ago, a group of artists got together to honor and question the simple structures that are letters. The Dada movement, whose impact is still felt greatly today, began as a challenge to the art world and, on a larger scale, to society on the whole.
Founded in Switzerland in 1916, Dada stripped down the ornate tendencies of visual art, leaving bare, minimalist structures to play around with. Both in the Dada movement and the tributary Lettrist movement in France, classic symbols such as numbers and letters became raw material for artists to compose at will.
Noted practitioners of these movements are German artist Max Ernst and Romanian artist Isidore Isou.
Next weekend, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art will invite guests to evaluate letters once again, this time by viewing Dadaist art and dance.
After a several-month hiatus, the acclaimed series Kontrapunkt will return to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art for its sixth and possibly final installment. Curated by Lior Avizoor, Kontrapunkt juxtaposes current contemporary dance works with exhibitions at the museum, offering a lens through which to view both bodies, one against or in concert with the other.
Each Kontrapunkt event proposes a theme, such as feminism in art or the masculine myth. Avizoor carefully matches the visual and performance art elements such that the meeting of the two brings more clarity and impact to each half.
Kontrapunkt #6 is part of the centenary celebrations of the Dada movement.
The evening will begin with Garden of Minutes by Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof. The quartet, which premiered as part of the 2015 Curtain Up Festival at the Suzanne Dellal Center, presents a smattering of images and expressions. In this work, Zuk and Fishof deconstructed their movement language into essential components, then wove these pieces together to create a new whole. Performed by Yaara Moses, Michal Saifan, Noa Paran and Tamir Eting (who will move from Israel for Amsterdam shortly following the performance), Garden of Minutes is at once silly, impressive and thoughtprovoking.
The live performance will be followed by a panel discussion entitled “Subverting Semantic Meaning, Nonsense and the Power of Collage.”
The dialogue will include Zuk, Fishof, Avizoor and sound and visual art expert Dr. Adi Louria-Hayon.
Finally, audience members will be free to view the exhibition “Alchemy of Words,” curated by Dr. Batsheva Goldman Ida. The exhibition opened last week and will run until the middle of November. Celebrating the immense influence of the Dada movement, “Alchemy of Words” focuses on the dismantling of words into letters. Tracking Dada as it spread from the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich to France, eastern Europe and North America, “Alchemy of Words” includes works by dozens of artists.
Incorporated into the display are pieces connected to medieval Spanish mystic Abraham Abulafia, founder of the school of Prophetic Kabbalah.
Abulafia’s meditation technique, which was widely practiced throughout the Ashkenazi hassidic communities, is based upon writing and reciting Hebrew letters. This method was recently depicted in the best-selling novel Bee Season by Myla Goldberg.
Kontrapunkt #6 will take place on July 2 at 8 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.tamuseum.org.il.