Proudly presenting Finale 2023 — twelve graduate works debuting by fourth-year students in the School of Visual Theatre. The works are an exciting and challenging culmination of a four-year learning process. They reflect the concepts, passions and burning questions that drive each of the students in an attempt to articulate their relationship with the artistic action.
In the past two years, we – a curator and an artist – have led the “Towards Finale” class. A curator accompanies artists in the process of their creation as a close witness, while the artist is intimately familiar with the mechanics and ethics of the artistic action; the delicate, fragile, and necessary manner in which it unfolds.
The curatorial action and the artistic action can be seen as two forces pulling in opposite directions. The artist (the ‘finalist’ in this case) often wishes to hold the cards close to the chest, keeping all possibilities open, to be everything! Every step and every word said about the future work may impose commitments and fix it to the ground. There is truth in this as well. Usually, the artistic action remains hidden from sight for a long time, ambiguous, elusive, inaccessible. When we are making art, we are actually discovering art. And perhaps we can say that art is not made, but revealed. In contrast to these joyful escape tactics, the curatorial action demands us to slow down and observe. It insists that this observation remains internal, not turned onto things, but rather emerge from within them. And from there to see what exists, what is required, what is necessary, to identify what is still missing, still in the process of organic formation. Curating offers an opportunity to invite other perspectives to be part of the process, and to allow ourselves to go beyond our own boundaries. Curating allows us to be reminded of the source, the inner seed that drives us – where we come from, why we embark on the same path again and again. To mark a route or to see it for the first time.
Our encounter with the 2023 class focused on the network of connections between the unique constellations that composes it. We have placed our attention on the web of interpersonal and creative relationships that make the soul of the current class. Relating was one of the most significant things we practiced together – how to give a perspective, a thought, a depth to the processes that our classmates are working on, how to offer a testimony that gives space, value, and meaning to a colleague. To gain an honest understanding that the eyes I turn to the other are the same ones that give meaning to my own creation. Together, we saw how an attentive, sensitive, compassionate gaze gives rise to an exciting whirlwind of meaning, whose ending is unknown.
The curatorial action and the artistic action take place simultaneously and continuously in every moment. They are forces that want to awaken, to create movement and transformation. For both of us, it has been a great joy to be part of the becoming of something that is truly miraculous. The miracle of creation.
Hila Cohen Schneiderman and Guy Gutman