I do not limit myself any medium is legitimate and any material is possible. The human body is the framework of my work, it serves as the basis on which I create and also constitutes an active part of the final performance. The connection of the textural structures of the textile and the environment of the body interests me because of the gendered charge it carries. As a woman living in a patriarchal society it is important for me to discuss issues like the control over my body and the limits of my choices, a topic that has never ceased to be relevant. In my artistic process, I ask questions about social norms, body regulation, and gender fluidity.
In the project Playing Dead Sea, I examine the relationships within a group and its connection to the land. What activates them? What is between an active action and its resonance? How can a member of a group take an active part only by passive presence, thus preserving social norms? I am investigating the “passive” action, which exists only in order to exist and preserve territory and norms; physical/gender control by physical gesture.
In the video, I describe a microcosm of an imaginary society filmed in the Dead Sea by “documenting” the group members in their rituals on land and in water. I examine the relationship between the individual, the group, and the earth. What is its power as an individual? What defines the actions that guide it? The actions—endless preoccupation with the thread, or standing and staring—are the power of the group to continue as a group, even without leadership, and maintain the unity of the community.
Video edited by Kim Gazit.
Hills Shapira is an artist from Israel, graduating from the Jewelry and Fashion department at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem in 2017. She is currently an MFA student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.