The night when Faust went kosher
Live-Web-Performance, 14 hours
The night when Faust went kosher was a performance conducted by the two performers for 14 hours, starting at 8 o’clock in the evening and ending at 10 o’clock in the morning. The performance took place as part of the exhibition.
The intimate and experimental character of a performance enacted in an exhibition space overnight combines features of an amateur live show with traditions of the Theater of the Absurd. An Israeli Jew appearing as a turtle and a character dressed in black, acting as a Bavarian, contemporary, and female version of the classical German Faust, spend this night inside the exhibition together. Their task is to find out everything about Jewish culture and history in one night, starting out from the nosey questions Faust poses to his turtle friend. Their set is a desk with an impressive pile of books touching on Judaism as well as a series of props, among them a can of fish, a stuffed cock, and even a shofar. From a sequence of questions ranging from religious traditions to pop culture of the 20th and 21st century, a dialogue on different perspectives and concepts of cultural heritage and identities unfolds, in which books are consulted and almost all props are tested.
The Jewish turtle and the contemporary Faust test themselves and each other: While Faust is on a mission to understand her friend and as a side-effect answer the question of all questions: What is Judaism?, the Jewish turtle remains skeptical toward the quenchless appetite of her friend for researching, gathering, and recombining knowledge. She is not interested, she knows all the answers. She is convinced that only a real Jew can understand what it actually means to be one. The turtle’s policy is defensive but not offensive. The performance, structured by small folkloristic dances at every hour of the passing night, ends with a conversation with Liron Dinovitz’s father, whom the by now rather exhausted performers consult via Skype at six o’clock in the morning, and a shared breakfast in the exhibition space.
The experiment took place as part of the exhibition at the Kunsthaus Dresden and was documented by video and broadcasted live on the web. It was exclusively available for an audience on the internet and for online participation. The turtle’s shell, the selection of props, and a complete video documentation of the 14 hours remained in the exhibition after the performance. The artistic dialogue that started with this experiment was continued in a stage performance by SuperYoutour in 2014: The Morning After…, a stage production in which, according to the artists’ words, the characters follow their ›enervated-passionate relation to their Jewish-Israeli shares, deconstructing their own identity.‹
After several other collaborative projects in 2013, the choreographer and dancer Liron Dinovitz and stage and costume designer Martina Lebert founded SuperYoutour Dinovitz/Lebert. Liron Dinovitz, born in 1982 in Israel, studied dance and choreography in Tel-Aviv, Arnheim and Dresden and lives and works in Dresden and Israel. Martina Lebert, born in 1981, studied stage and costume design in Dresden and lives and works in Amsterdam. Media artist Konrad Behr implemented the internet broadcasting and
documented the event with pictures and audio recordings and has become part of the group SuperYoutour since.