The Contemporary Jewish Museum Announces In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art – Kota Ezawa and James Kirby Rogers

. June 10, 2016

Dialogue has always been an integral part of learning in traditional Jewish contexts. Now, The Contemporary Jewish Museum repurposes the centuries-old practice of havruta—the study of religious texts by people in pairs—for the contemporary art community. Bay Area-based artist Kota Ezawa collaborates with San Francisco native and contemporary dancer James Kirby Rogers in the next installation of the new exhibition series, In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art.

Tonya (working title), 2016. Still from digital animation based on dance performance, 3 video channels, approx. 4 min. Part of In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art, a collaboration between artist Kota Ezawa and dancer James Kirby Rogers, 2016, Commissioned for installation at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco.

Tonya (working title), 2016. Still from digital animation based on dance performance, 3 video channels, approx. 4 min. Part of In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art, a collaboration between artist Kota Ezawa and dancer James Kirby Rogers, 2016, Commissioned for installation at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco.

In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art brings individual Bay Area artists together with a scholar, scientist, writer, or other thinker of his or her choice for a ten-week fellowship in creativity. The resulting collaborations are presented in The Museum’s Sala Webb Education Center.

Ezawa and Rogers are creating Tonya (working title), a three-channel video animation based on Rogers’ choreography, which he performed in front of Ezawa’s camera.

In his practice, Ezawa often reworks images from popular culture, film, and art history, stripping them down to their core elements. His simplified versions remain easily recognizable and potent, maintaining a keen awareness of how images shape our experience and memory of events. For Tonya, Ezawa removes Rogers’ movements from any larger context and repeats them on multiple screens, making the choreography, initially unknown to the viewer, at once familiar and mechanical. As a synthesis of two art forms, the piece blurs the line between human movement and the imaginative power of digital animation.

ADMISSION: $12 adults, $10 students and senior citizens with a valid ID, and $5 on Thursdays after 5pm.* Youth 18 and under free.
*An additional $3 surcharge will apply to all general admission tickets throughout the run of Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, on view June 30–October 30, 2016.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Visit thecjm.org or call 415.655.7800

Category: Fine Art

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