“shalva” (Tranquility), 2018
An empty, sexualized female character follows meditation instructions (in hebrew), trapped in a glass case, in a synthetically perfect looking space. The relaxed meditation instructions turn into self defense instructions. She follows them, as the viewer gazes at her empty body. This causes her to flip out and break out of the glass case. Outside, there is no sound and no instructions. Her body has a mind of its own and with every independent hit she gives the air, fleshy material fills her arms, legs and then her full body. Liberation of form comes as pure destruction to her once sexualized body. She destroys the space, coming into form then into pure mushy abstract. Where her violent anger touch, a fire flower grows. Blood spreads into the once clean space as she walks away seeking freedom and a new world to destroy.
"Shalva" (=Tranquility) is my first year (at CalArts) short. Creating, a representation as a woman, in 2018 is difficult. So much anger....and hope, all mixed in. I've had to ask myself how much power do I hold as a creator to change the face of what people believe they can do? I'd like to say a lot.
My goal with "Shalva" was to empower my character, being told how to relax, being told how to protect herself. That's not my truth. I wanted to break the old rules, dictated to us by old white man. From destruction, comes creation. I've been affected like many others by the problematic nature of having a “femaled” shell body. I’ve chosen to represent that feeling in a male gaze-esque mannar. Letting the viewer consume my character, filling her emptiness with muscles, abstract her form then throwing her back into the inevitable self in a body. Because I cannot choose to be in an abstract body.
Living, for the first time, in Los Angeles, the farthest away that can be from Israel, an isolating synthetic space, where people seek perfection from their personal bodies to the broad landscapes around, provided a natural inspiration for the symbolic VR-esque sleek space.
Moebius, his intense perspectives, sci-fi detailed creatures and the dreamyness of Satoshi Kohn’s work have heavily influenced the type of visual experiences I’d passionately try to create. My Israeli heritage, a sentiment of a sometimes violent reality plays a role in how I as a woman protect myself. Using hebrew, for the narration evoked the right amount of conflicting emotions to me, and provided the right platform to tell the story, until fighting the gaslighting process was complete and my character could seek body freedom and break out. I hope the piece can reflect the passion it was made with, and give energy to those in need.
Composer & Sound Mixer : Ann Streichman