Holes to Infinity
Lecture performance | 2020-2021
Performed at Center for Contemporary Art (CCA); Bezalel conference at the Bat Yam Museum.
We are thrown into the disappearing world*, into a void disguised as abundance, equipped with a certain "I", and we have no choice but to search and ask: Who put the explosive material to the big bang? The cosmic game - deterministic, random, causal or purposeful? The world wherever it exists - discrete or continuous, separate or unified, particle or wave? What is this "I" and where is all the knowledge? How to sore exactly to the extent, how to land in order to transcend? Agnostica Poetica is an oracle*, moving between tremendous wonder and disturbing existential anxiety. It is an artistic, spiritual, emotional and scientific journey that shifts through dance, poetry, voice, mysticism and scientific fields - probability, geometry, metaphysics, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, relativity theory. The different worlds of knowledge merge into each other into an exceptional mixture, perhaps the first of its kind, seeking a grip on reality, in the body, in a total way.
Agnostica Poetica is a large-scale project that Savyon began on the outbreak of the epidemic, in the beginning of 2020, taking advantage of the circumstances of the quarantine to delve in more than ever. The seeds for this project were already planted in the previous project, the Looper project, where Savyon dealt with epistemological and ontological questions - what exists, how can we know what exists, how far can we trust the senses, what is time, what is space, how do they move, what happens when time and space replace their roles, what are the laws of creating the cosmos and what is their guiding internal logic, what are the limits of grasping - These thought-provoking questions carried forward into the Agnostica Poetica project, along with new inquiries that emerged from them.
Quantum physics teaches us the principle of uncertainty. The Hebrew language implies that our world is constantly vanishes. If so, we know we don't know. When we come across a wall, in the helplessness of science and philosophy, the question arises as to how our “I” fills the nothingness*, the empty space that opens up. It seems that this abyssal void has room to be filled. That's where our unique set of beliefs is, acting, giving its answers, creating. As we go deeper, we actually discover more and more, exclusively, ourselves - our interpretation, our assumptions, our fears and passions, our values. In meeting the world, both in existential questions and in everyday life, we meet ourselves. only. Everything is a mirror. This is the agnostic approach as Savyon suggests, an approach of modesty and responsibility.
The materials involved in the research-performance of Savyon range between light, voice, water, sand, memories from previous incarnations, repressions from current incarnations, pairing of words and letters, sacred geometry, combinatorics, magic, coals, shells, feelings, alliteration, the biggest things - the cosmos and parallel universes, and the smallest things - quarks, strings and quanta. Savyon observes the world and lets the audience observe her and her dream, not in the sense of a window to the subconscious, but in the sense that this life is a faded, confused, amusing dream, full of beauty and emotion, bursting with secrets and symbols, because things are not "just" things. The things are our gaze and our language and our illusions. They are fables.
After a year of personal work in an underground shelter (given to her by Tel Aviv Municipality), Savyon joined the Diver Festival group in March 2021. Under the euphoria of the vaccinations, real life began to return to its course and the artists were expected to return to the theater and the museum. The Diver Festival group got frightened and decided to ran away. As performance artists, they knew that the artistic opportunity of that moment was to linger and dwell on it, and more than that - to turn it into a myth. They escaped several times to a pastoral Yodfat. They thought of art as a priesthood and meeting an audience as a ritual or ceremony. They returned to the zero point of the biblical Ekklēsia. They asked how to re-approach the performative act, each in her own artistic practice, under a common artistic climate.
On their return to the city, they settled in a shelter at the CCA (Contemporary Art Center). They held secret shows in which leading Israeli artists generously became audience. The audience accumulated from show to show (everyone who came to a certain show had been to all the previous shows. The audience that was at the first show was at all the shows, and at each show a new audience joined). In this way, they examined what happens when a performance does not aim to surprise but to deepen, when the audience becomes part of the mythology, a hidden agent in the show. The shelter at Yad Eliyahu where Savyon worked alone (her studio) and the CCA shelter where she worked with the Diver Festival group brought into Savyon's research-performance images and concepts of black hole. Thus she created the act "Holes to Infinity" which she later performed on Bezalel Conference.
On Diver Festival, the oracles presented a four-hour performative ritual “Rehearsing Ekklēsia”, a ceremonial event consisting of various shows, including a full-length show by Savyon - "Agnostica Poetica - Introduction to Surviving Infinity”.
* In Hebrew the word for “World” is related to the word “Disappearing” or “vanishing”.
* Oracle spelled here in Hebrew with a different letter to indicate the word “Audience” and to refer to Ekklēsia Book (in the Jewish bible).
* In Hebrew “I” and “nothingness” are pangrams of each other, meaning they are two combinations of the same letters.
Choreography, direction, text, performance: Savyon. Artistic consultant: Ido Feder and Ana Wild. Original music: Yuval Shenhar.
Interview on Portfolio art magazine: https://www.prtfl.co.il/archives/154224
This research project had two different performative outcomes (different contents on different formats):
“Agnostica Poetica - Introduction to Surviving Infinity” - a full-length show about suchness or thatness as a state of mind, a mathematical state and a physical state; about circle and line; unity and duality; name as an agent of meaning; containing forms; sound as a body cleanser and more. Performed in the frame of “Rehearsing Ekklēsia” Diver Festival 2021, Bat-Yam Museum.
"Holes to Infinity" – Lecture performance - about black holes; hologram; quantum mechanics; vision of dry bones; parables and more. Center for Contemporary Art (CCA); Bezalel conference at the Bat Yam Museum.