Don’t Be a Stranger

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Michal Schreiber

"Don’t Be a Stranger" is the most recent chapter in a series of actions that have taken place in the streets of Musrara. In "Palace" (2012), Schreiber laid down in the street and, with the help of observers, moved golden blocks from her head to her stomach. In "Builder" (2013), the artist and audience members repeatedly built a Sisyphean wall of gold.

In the current performance, the artist will engage the audience in direct and intimate interaction. The interactions include a conversation and an artistic action, addressing the possibility and the impossibility of truly communicating and getting to know one another.

The work is motivated by the artist’s thoughts on the political and social situation in Israel. It is a situation where, in order to get on with one’s daily routine, it is often necessary to close one’s eyes, ears and heart. The artist suggests that a possible future lies in the ability to look directly into one another's eyes. It involves the search for a moment that might not exist, in which she neither approves nor disapproves of the other, and in which the other neither approves nor disapproves of her. It is in such a moment that it is perhaps possible to unravel concepts of identity.

"Don’t Be a Stranger" is an action for two. The artist and a participant, who will sit opposite her, will engage in a conversation as well as in an artistic action that is amorphous, disorganized, unstable and futile. It may result in an outcome or in a testimony. In contrast to her previous works, in which the action could continue to take place autonomously regardless of whether or not the audience joined her in various ways, the present work comes to a halt when no partner participates with her.

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