ARTIST SPOTLIGHT 02: BEN HAGARI
Get to know Ben Hagari, film artist, and 2 of 10 presented artists during our upcoming performance series, Volume VI, Issue II: MOVEMENT CURRENCY from August 19 to 21, 2016. Ben's work dissolves the distinction between theatrical façade and backstage by opening onto spaces where magic, subterfuge, and poetry collide. Learn more about Ben on our Artist Spotlight and see his work in 01 RISK // Friday, August 19 at 7:30pm + 03 SAVINGS // Sunday, August 21 at 3pm with Talkback.
Three words that Describe your Choreography
Magic, Comic, Surreal
Ben Hagari, born in Tel Aviv, lives and works in New York City. His film, video and installation works have been exhibited internationally at art institutions including The Rose Art Museum, MA (2016); The Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2016); SculptureCenter, NY (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow, Poland (2015); The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2014); KIT Düsseldorf (2011); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2011) among others. He holds an MFA from Columbia University (2014).
About Ben's Creative Process
My films and installations are tragicomedies that unfold in absurdist environments that raise questions about identity and impaired social interaction. My work dissolves the distinction between theatrical façade and backstage by opening onto spaces where magic, subterfuge, and poetry collide. A defamiliarizing effect is created through conceptual and material mimesis: make-up, props and sets are manipulated to construct an artificial yet internally consistent system of representation.
Do you work in other mediums other than dance/performance? If so, what, and how/why did you get into it?
I work with film, video, sound, and sculptural installation. I am interested in cross disciplinary approach to art making.
What influenced the concept/work that you are presenting at the CURRENT SESSIONS?
Potter’s Will was inspired by my visit to the Black Maria, the world's first motion-picture studio, in New Jersey. Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the kinetograph (the first motion-picture camera), set up this unique studio in 1893 to shoot his first films. In the absence of sufficient artificial lighting, Edison built a revolving studio with an open roof, rotating on a circular track, which moved according to the sun's position to ensure maximum natural lighting. The Potter’s Will video features a rotating set that bears in mind Edison’s invention.
What is one of your most memorable moments of an artist, thus far?
My engagement with art stems from the childhood memories of growing up in the theater. My mother worked in the theater for many years, and she introduced me not only to the stage and its narratives but also to its secrets —the backstage, the costume warehouse, the make-up department and the audience. The theater’s magic affected my outlook in a very visceral way.
Connect with Ben on Facebook.
See Ben in Volume VI, Issue II: MOVEMENT CURRENCY, in 01 Risk // Friday, August 19th at 7:30pm + 03 Savings // Sunday, August 21 at 3pm with Talkback.