Past Public Program
Artis was one of the 20 organizations participating in the first ZOOM Contemporary Art Fair of contemporary art from the Middle East and its diasporas. Artis presented two projects by emerging New York based artist Orit Ben-Shitrit. Zoom Art Fair presented an opportunity for dialogue between countries from the Middle East, showcasing work from Israel, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Bahrain, and more.
Commissioned by Artis with support from ZOOM, HALF-TAMED BEAST (2010) was Ben-Shitrit’s site-specific dance performed around the pool area of the South Seas Hotel. It was an east/west fusion of visuals, movement and sound including a ballerina with pointe shoes and modern and contemporary dance to the sounds of Turkish Kanun, Darbuka, and Oud. The work was written and directed by Orit Ben-Shitrit and choreographed in collaboration with dancers Kate Corby, Mor Gur-Arie, Christena Anne Jones and Nicholas Ruiz.
Orit Ben-Shitrit’s two-channel video installation MEN DIE AND THEY ARE NOT HAPPY (2010, 15 min) was on a loop in Artis’ space at the South Seas Hotel. The work examines notions of The Leader, The People and The Law. The video is composed of three scenarios that abstractly depict the cycle of life. Each scene is bookmarked by a “Dance of Violence,” performed by a dancer in a confined red room. The video’s title is taken from a line in Camus’ play Caligula. This artwork won the Tony Smith award at Hunter College, City University of New York in 2010.