Image: Andy Warhol’s “Sarah Bernhardt” (1980)
Israeli choreography Noa Eshkol was recently rediscovered by Los Angeles-based artist Sharon Lockhart. Eshkol’s Wachman notation system was largely dismissed by contemporaries. And yet, her dedicated followers continue to practice her meditative dances to the rhythm of a metronome. The performances are stoic and spiritual in their monotony. We get a better sense of Eshkol’s strict discipline and extraordinary preliminary processes through Lockhart’s presentation. The images above were presented alongside videos of Eshkol’s troupe dancing. The small spherical objects are sculptures meant to emulate the movement of particular joints in the body. The posters are drawings that bring these visuals into a context that is easier to interprete. Lockhart photographed the miniature models and elevated them to the status of sculptural artworks in their own right. Lockhart also documented Eshkol’s dances for the first time. In an effort to preserve and continue the choreographer’s legacy. Projecting them onto huge blocks acting like blank canvases, Lockhart beautifully captures this rhythmic and ritual-like language. At the foreground, the dancers entrall us with their slow, exacting interpretations. Behind them are displayed tapestries, or “wall carpets,” as Eshkol calls them. They are composed on found materials, but laid out precisely by Eshkol herself. She then would have her community of followers sit and sew them together in a gathering reminiscent of the work ethic of early kibbutzes.
last year, for my birthday, schwebel decided he wanted to give me a gift.
i’m sitting by the cluttered, barely-lit desk of his studio. nestled in the hills of ein karem, just southwest of jerusalem, the studio space feels more like a cavern, complete with a wood-burning heater and a small lived-in bed. thick, stone walls of what was once an arab home keep us cozily warm. he wraps his hand around the neck of the bottle, “a glass of wine, babe?” i stop typing for a second and shake my head, “no, no thanks. i need to keep focused, you know.” we’d already split a small bottle of a great local cab over dinner. i felt full and flushed. “well, how about that present then?” he says as he slaps my knee. i perk up. he shoves back his chair and heads toward his collection, where huge canvases (worth thousands, mind you) collect dust. he begins to leaf through old sketches and etchings and pauses on a beautiful cityscape of tel aviv. perfect. i sit smugly. he flips past it, picks up a wooden panel painted bright blue, and studies it for a minute. i can’t quite make out the subject. it looks like two lovers. he turns back to me, “hey, you want a blowjob?” i raise an eyebrow, cock my head, “um, excuse me?” he hands me the piece of plywood. i stare, mouth agape. it is, in fact, a sketch, or more specifically, a self-portrait of schwebel receiving a blowjob. tediously detailed, the overt homage to the art of fellatio depicts a full-figured femme, conveniently unidentifiable, with an enraptured, generously hairy and perfectly perky schwebel, legs literally flailing. my eyes widen. i hesitate. schwebel grabs it out of my hands and sits back down on his cushion. he pulls out a sharpie and flips over the panel. “schwebel for sharon on her 24th birthday,” he writes and hands it back. “thanks for the blowjob,” i reply.