Dancing on Tec(h)tonic Plates

A virtual video art screening program organized by Artis in collaboration with Vivian Ostrovsky for the Ostrovsky Family Fund (O.F.F.) and Lea Mauas, Director of Mamuta Art and Research Center

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Shir Handelsman, Recitative, 2019, still from HD video, 4:57 min; Ofri Cnaani We, Work, 2019, video still, 9:15 min; Haviv Kaptzon, Power, 2020, video still, 14:00 min; Elham Rokni, The Seven Abdulkarims, 2018, still from HD video, 22:00 min.


Dancing on Tec(h)tonic Plates is a virtual video art screening program that features four thematic sections, each comprised of four video works, which will be released monthly. The program is organized by Artis in collaboration with Vivian Ostrovsky for the Ostrovsky Family Fund (O.F.F.) and Lea Mauas, Director of Mamuta Art and Research Center. 

The curated selection of works presented as part of this program is culled from a decade of the Experimental Cinema and Video Art Awards at the Jerusalem Film Festival, and highlights works by artists who have recently received grant support from Artis. 

Dancing on Tec(h)tonic Plates asks, how do contemporary artists confront the changing environment and climate crisis? What channels do they choose in their work to reflect on their realities, and project their fantasies? The featured works question the past, the present, the political, and the personal, and use a constantly evolving technology to express diverse viewpoints in form and subject.

We are living in times of immeasurable change. We have no means to expect what tomorrow might bring, yet we carry on with our lives acting as though life will continue along its path, as usual. The geological dance of tectonic plates creates constant movement. When a break occurs, it results in cataclysmic events. The videos presented here offer reflections on, and reactions to, present political shifts and imbalance. The artist’s voice is of vital importance to inspire and find innovative solutions to mend our fractured world.

Participating artists: Hilla Ben Ari, Ofri Cnaani, Shir Handelsman, Thalia Hoffman, Haviv Kaptzon, Ruth Patir, Elham Rokni, and other artists to be announced.

Section 2: Not in Working Order

Screening from May 1-31, 2023

Not in Working Order looks at how contemporary artists address the theme of work in their own artworks. It explores the ways in which artists question an array of weighty subjects such as labor, politics, ethics, and productivity, and infuses them with irony or humor. The irrational takes over to show a greedy world run amok.

In Elham Rokni's video, The Seven Abdulkarims, the artist playfully mixes fact and fiction with African lore, while documentary footage is overlaid with her hand-drawn animation. The seemingly innocuous video quickly reveals a narrative that points to an ongoing global crisis with no solution in sight. 

Ofri Cnaani dives into the Mishkan Museum of Art's art collection in We, Work. The video presents sculptures and paintings that, although hidden from the public eye, seem to have a life of their own. In We, Work, it is the artwork, the 'objets d'art', that questions the very system they inhabit, stressing the precarious relationship between labor and art. 

Haviv Kaptzon's Power has the elements of a musical - song, dance, humor, and flair. In this video, the artist uses bizarre handmade toy machines to energize inanimate objects in his home. Robot's voices, throat-singing, and a pirouetting plug bob around, exclaiming 'how good to have...the flow of energy running through the walls.' While elsewhere, we see technicians switching off the power in Gaza.

Shir Handelsman's research connecting sound and visual images leads us to a visually arresting spectacle in Recitative. A group of mechanical platforms that are used in the construction of high rises perform a seamlessly choreographed number to an opera singer's rendition of Bach's Cantata 82. Together, the industrial machine and the human voice search for a new, perfect yet discordant, communion with the divine. 

View Videos

artist film
Power by Haviv Kaptzon

14:00 min, 2020

artist film
We, Work by Ofri Cnaani

9:15 minutes, 2019

artist film
The Seven Abdulkarims by Elham Rokni

22:00 minutes, 2018

artist film
Recitative by Shir Handelsman

4:57 min, 2019

Past Screenings

Section 1: Still Time to Move
Naamah: A Tribute to Nahum Benari by Hilla Ben Ari

14:17 min, 2015

Section 1: Still Time to Move
Shama (There)//شامْ(ا)//שמה by Thalia Hoffman

20 min, 2017

Section 1: Still Time to Move
The Wedding by Elham Rokni

8 mm film and HD
12:30 min, 2015

Section 1: Still Time to Move
Sleepers by Ruth Patir

16:10 min, 2017

Section 1: Still Time to Move

Screening from April 1-30, 2023

Still Time to Move includes four videos that consider various notions of stillness and motion. Immigrating to Israel from Iran when she was nine, Elham Rokni reflects on her personal move as it pertains to previous immigration waves in The Wedding. Her displacement, however, is as much a cause of missing personal records as it is of missing memories. In Hilla Ben Ari's video, Naamah: A Tribute to Nahum Benari, performative frozen poses can be mistaken for still images, but a deeper observation reveals the tremors and slight movements of the body on view. Extending the boundaries between stillness and motion, the work pushes the limits of psyche and body. In Shama (There)//شامْ(ا)//שמה by Thalia Hoffman, a gathering of men, women, children, and dogs climb into a truck which doesn’t move, as if looking for a future that never comes. Linking the public to the personal, Ruth Patir’s video, Sleepers, explores the aesthetics of power and the dynamics of dreams.

Program partners


Hilla Ben Ari
Thalia Hoffman
Elham Rokni
Ruth Patir
Shir Handelsman
Ofri Cnaani
Haviv Kaptzon