Is The Artist Present?
Ongoing Performative Act – The Real and The Virtual Body – Encounter
Binyamin Gallery; Art Space Gallery | 2016
Broadcast Point of View
In homage to Marina Abramović's iconic work "The Artist Is Present", performance artist Savyon invites the audience to sit across from her, one-on-one. However, here the artist appears on a computer screen via internet call. This is an attempt to bring together physical and virtual presence. The audience both takes part in the encounter and observes it, witnessing the two different presences, the real and the digital. What kind of encounter can take place? Can non-verbal, unconscious energy and information transfers occur, similar to a "regular" encounter? While the eye tends to reduce and flatten digital experiences, Savyon strives to create a way of seeing through the screen that is attentive, active, intuitive, full of meaning and intention, an intimate human encounter. What can be felt and known, and what cannot, from such an encounter?
The work was performed at the Binyamin Gallery as part of the KNI (Israeli Experimental Group) event and at the Art Space Gallery. This work was the starting point for a series of additional works that dealt with the simultaneous presence of a physical body and a digital body. Following this work, Savoyn created an additional performance, "The Artist is Reacting" at the Red House, where she gave a physical interpretation of the information that emerged from the encounter and from the person sitting across from her.