Homage to Nijinsky and Diaghilev's Ballet Russes 100 anniversary. The Israeli Opera,
Tel-Aviv. Mars-April 2009
On May 18, 1909 Diaghilev's Ballet Russes appeared for the first time in Paris. The revolution that began that night in the world of dance will leave a lasting mark on the entire art world. Serge Diaghilev with his sharp senses gathered around him some of the best talents of that period. Artists like Bakst and Picasso, musicians like Stravinsky, and dancers and chirographers like Fokine and Nijinsky, created together under his support and encouragement works of art that will excite and inspire generations to come. With "The Right of Spring", "The Fire Bird," "The Afternoon of the Faun" a new language of dance and inter-media art was born.
The company's soloist dancer at it early years was Vaslav Nijinsky, who mesmerized his audience with his sensuality and virtuosity. In 1912 he created his first cerography "The Afternoon of the Faun" accompanied by Debussy's music. For weeks, all Paris talked about was the new daring avant-garde dance based on Greek motives. In 1913 he stirred up a new scandal in Paris, with "The Right of Spring." The combination of Stravinsky's revolutionary music with Nijinsky's cerography based on Slavic pagan rituals was a bit too much for the prevailing conservative taste. A few years later, after undergoing personal and professional crises and schizophrenia attacks, Nijinsky sank into the world of madness where he remained until his death in 1950. The Ballet Russe continued to perform until 1929, the year Diaghilev died. The members of the company spread all over the world and many founded new dancing companies, such as The New York City Ballet and The English Royal Ballet.
The homage presents works from two series that dealt with the image of Nijinsky: "From Reality to Myth: Nijinsky" (1995) and "Anatomy of a Myth" (1998), which have been presented in the past as well as a work from the new series, "Radu".
Radu Klaper was my best friend. The twenty eight year age-difference was never present during our fifteen years of very close friendship. This series of works, which I have started after Radu's death in October 2006, is a homage to Radu - the poet, the writer, the lover of culture and of knowledge, and the person whose contribution and support was so significant to my artistic carrier. The series follows different stations in Radu's life combining texts from his poems.
Due to my travel to Germany this year and a new series I began there, the series is not yet complete.
Radu Klaper was born in 1937 in Bucharest in a Jewish-Romanian family and grew up in a multi-linguistic environment. He studied librarianship and philology and
after completing his studies published poetry, and worked as an art critic in different magazines. In 1976, Radu immigrated to Israel and became a theater and dance critic in foreign magazines in Israel and France. He also continued to publish his poetry in different Romanian anthologies. In 1991, he started to work in the Israeli library of dance and in 1993, he became the library's director. His first Hebrew poem-book "The Hart Paces" came out in 1998, and in 2003, he published two more books "Forbidden Songs" and a prose book, "Jews Against their Will", that dealt with the relationship between famous figures and their Jewish identity, including the French singer, Barbara, the actress, Simone Siniore, and the psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim. Radu's poetry often dealt with homo-erotic desire and unfulfilled love, accompanied by wisdom and sharp insight. His writings introduced into Hebrew literature a touch of European poetry.
During his time at the dance library, Radu became known as a great supporter of artists and dancers, young and old. His vast knowledge and unique character turn Radu and the library to a pilgrimage site. In October 2006, at the age of 69, Radu Klaper passed away.
Tel-Aviv Artists House 2006
Jerusalem Artists House 2001(partly)This series started during my residency in the "Cite des Arts" in Paris in 2000. Inspired by Christian and Classic art, I began to create golden icons.
The series began with auto-portraits and then moved on to portraits of people, whose appearance seemed to me somehow medieval. A later part of the series included fragments of faces and bodies. Two works from this series were presented in "Traces", the Biennale exhbit for drawing (Jerusalem Artists House Nov 2001). The series as a whole was presented on September 2006 at the "Artists' House Tel-Aviv ".
Jerusalem Artists' House, 2006
Heinrich Boell Foundation Gallery, Bremen, 2006
Hannah Arendt Zentrum, Oldenburg, 2006
Jewish Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 2006
The Arendt Project is comprised of a series of nineteen works portraying the image of the Jewish-German thinker Hannah Arend (1906-1975). The initial motivation for the series came after reading her book "Eichmann in Jerusalem, a Report on the Banality of Evil" and finding great interest in her life, image and writings. The works focus on her personality and on the way her visual image and her life mirror the turmoil of the twentieth century. The series creates a dialogue between her portraits and conceptual representations of her world. The series includes nineteen works all created with techniques of electric pen, processed drawing and oil. The exhibition was presented first in October 2005 at the "Jewish Museum of Frankfurt", and later in the "Heinrich Böll Foundation Gallery" in Bremen and in the "Hannah Arendt Zentrum" in Oldenburg. The exhibition drew attention and wide publicity and was regarded favorably by the critics. In October 2006, Arendt's 100th birthday was commemorated around the world. The Arendt Project was presented in the Jerusalem Artist's House and was supported by Heinrich Böll Foundation in Israel and by the Goethe Institute. The catalogue accompanying the exhibit includes texts by Tali Tamir, Michal Ben-Naftali and Erik Riedel, the exhibit's curator in Frankfurt.
Tel-Aviv muncipility building, 2004
A large exhibition of 240 portraits, each 2x3 m², of important figures that Tel-Aviv municipality honered by naming streets after them.
My work was dedicated to Bezalel, the first Biblical artist.
The Artists' Residence, Herzliya 1999
This entire exhibition dealt with feet and legs: videos, drawings, a big sculpture of a foot and three auto-portraits of the artist as the observer. The exhibition was presented in December 1999 in the "Artist's Residence" in Herzlya.
Beit Haam Gallery, Tel Aviv 1998
This exhibition, which followed the two Nijinsky's exhibitions, was based on sessions with life male models. The works consist primarily of drawings of male body parts on wood plates. The exhibition was presented in October 1998 in "Beit Haam Gallery", Tel-Aviv.
Jerusalem Theater 1998This second exhibition dealt as well with the life, image and spirit of the dancer and the choreographer, Vaslav Nijinsky. This time the works focused on the movement of his body. The themes of the exhibition were expressed through a colorful palette and various materials on large-scale wooden bases. The exhibition was presented in November 1998 at the "Jerusalem Theater".
Beit - Ariela, Tel- Aviv, 1995
Beit-Zvi Theter, 1998
The exhibition dealt with the life and image of the great Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky (1888-1950). The exhibition followed stations in Nijinsky's life from glory to madness.
The works in the exhibition move from figurative images through the symbolic to abstract.
The exhibition was presented at the "Beit-Ariela culture center" in Tel-Aviv and in "Beit-Zvi" theater in Ramat-Gan.