B’Tselem is the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Since 2007, the organization has been operating its Camera Project, which distributes video cameras to Palestinians in high conflict areas in the West Bank. The project aims to provide an ongoing documentation of human rights violations, and to expose the reality of life under occupation to both the Israeli and the international public. Throughout the work process, Zaides reviewed and selected footage that was filmed by volunteers of B’Tselem’s Camera Project. On stage, he examines the bodies of Israelis as they were captured on camera, and focuses on the physical reactions to which they resort in various confrontational situations. The Palestinians remain behind the camera, nevertheless, their movement, voice, and point of view are highly present, determining the viewer’s perspective. Although the footage reveals a local reality, Archive raises broader, more universal questions: what is the potential of violence embedded in each individual body, and what price does the collective pay for governing the other.
Zaides extracts and appropriates gestures and voices of fellow Israelis. He identify with the footage and engages in it, gradually embodying it. The mimetic choreographic practice raises questions of participation and responsibility as Zaides’ body transforms into a living archive. Archive was premiered at Festival d’Avignon, 2014.
Arkadi Zaides is an independent choreographer. Born in 1979 in ּBelorussia, former USSR, he immigrated to Israel in 1990 and currently lives in France. Zaides' work examines the ways in which political and social contexts effect the physical body and constitute choreography. His practice aims to challenge and inspire viewers. It offers an inclusive realm that brings together diverse communities and sectors of society. His works were presented among the following countries: France (Theater National De Chaillot, CDC Toulouse, KLAP), Germany (Fabrik Potsdam, Pact Zollverein, Weimar Nationaltheater), The Netherlands (Korzo, Bellevue, Stadsschouwburg Rotterdam), Switzerland (Tanzhaus Zürich), Canada (Firehall Arts Center, MAI), USA (LaMaMa, NYLA), Chile (FIT), Japan (Aoyama Round Theater, Dance Box, Session House), The Czech Republic (4+4 Days in Motion), Poland (Arts Station Foundation, Impart Art Center), Italy (Santarcangelo Theater Festival), Greece (Onassis Foundation), Spain (Mes De Danza, BAD Bilbao), and China (Shanghai Dance Festival).
Archive materials: volunteers for the "Camera Project" of B'Tselem - The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Iman Sufan, Mu'az Sufan, Bilal Tamimi, Udai 'Aqel, Awani D'ana, Bassam J'abri, Abu 'Ayesha, Qassem Saleh, Mustafa Elkam, Raed Abu Ermeileh, Abu Sa'ifan, Oren Yakobovich, Nayel Najar Concept & choreography Arkadi Zaides Video consultant Effi Weiss, Amir Borenstein Sound art & voice dramaturgy Tom Tlalim Artistic advice Katerina Bakatsaki Assistant choreography Ofir Yudilevitch Costume Adam Kalderon Light Thalie Lurault Remote Control Interface Pierre-Olivier Boulant Technical direction Etienne Exbrayat, Yoav Barel Sound technician Cyril Communal Production Yael Bechor Special thanks to Myriam Van Imschoot Produced by Arkadi Zaides Co-produced by Festival D’Avignon (FR), CDC Toulouse (FR), Theatre National De Chaillot (FR), CNDC Angers (FR) Residencies at STUK Leuven (BE), CDC Toulouse (FR), CNDC Angers (FR), Theatre National De Chaillot (FR), WP Zimmer (BE) International distribution Key Performance
Photos: Ronen Guter, Gadi Dagon