Department of Fine Arts

Blanche & Romie Shapiro

Fine Art 2019, Graduate Exhibitions
MarceleTehila Bitton, ARAK BARAKI’A: Edri in Mea She’arim
, 2019, Graduated 2019, Fine Arts

Video, Installation and Performance

“I remember a house in the fog; time which is formed in its own shapes”
Trakovsky Andrei, Sculpting Time.

Marcelle's body is the originator and around it things are moving.
She creates in her work repetitive, dramatic rituals and ceremonies as Anna Mandiata, a Cuban-American artist, created a place for the mortal in the open space (Earth Body Work series, 1970).
Her work is dealing with the religious, the mythical and the hybrid, in expressions ranging from delicacy and vulnerability to a potential aggression. The act is often scorched by charging  the material in matters related to the psychic-personal and to the Jewish-cultural.

The work Edri in Mea Shearim, displayed in the exhibition, are taking place at the most ultra- orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem.
However, Bitton’s source of inspiration for this work  is a scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s which represents a completely different world. She was dividing each single frame from the original scene and put them together- image by image, a second by second, sing the same story board and camera movements. Yet, in the new work the conditions have changed:  Audrey becomes Edri (the popular Moroccan oriented last name), eating sfinge, instead of croissant;  and the observance in the gemstones of Tiffany is reproduced to an oncover in the jerusalem stones of Mea She’arim.

The video was filmed and edited by a Haredi-Hasidic girl, a graduate of visual communication program in seminary for girls in Jerusalem. Out of ideological reasons, Haredi women by the Halacha are not watching movies which were not produced by Haredi women, and so they are forming the thriving female-cinema genre in the last decade. In this cinematic world, men are not existed at all, or alternatively represented by women.

Bitton replaces the men from the original scene in women, thus stretching the boundaries of gender representation as is customary in the female-Haredi cinema. Edri in Mea She’arim
attempts to bind another narrative created by the contrast between the two concepts, the Orthodox one and the Bohemian one, which is taking place in New York, in the 1960s. The attempt to recreate the scenes under the new conditions becomes a predictable ritual, while all its participants entering the iconic mechanism and operating within it by the new conditions.
Bitton is asking to keep the iconic cinematic sequence while testing the visual esthetic, the physical gestures and the performative ritual, in a new foreign context.
Marcelle was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1993, as the oldest daughter to an orthodox Rabbi.

MarceleTehila Bitton
Graduated 2019
ARAK BARAKI’A: Edri in Mea She’arim