The Red House Trilogy
Site-specific performances, Tel-Aviv (2017)
Curator: Bar Goren
Producer: Maria Berger
In June 2017 Weiser took part in the group exhibition “SEE ART TELL X The Red House”. The exhibition was site-specific and related to the architecture and history of the Red House, an impressive historical Arabic building located in the south of Tel-Aviv which functions today as an art gallery. As part of the exhibition she facilitated three participatory performances which aimed to portray a fictional archive of the venue's real and imagined history: Off the Record, Tanin and Bingo Palestine.
The project was commissioned and supported by SEE ART TELL organization.
Off the Record one-on-one performance
Off the Record was a one-on-one performative experiment related to the history of the Red House, which functioned as an investigation facility during the British Mandate. In this piece Weiser explores the tension between a romantic date and a criminal investigation.
Participants registered to take part in the event during the opening evening of the exhibition and received a confirmation email the following day, which was a "formal investigation summons". The invitation used formal aesthetic and language and most participants replied to the email in a similar style. This first virtual interaction was the starting point of the performance and set the ground for the role play yet to come.
As each participant arrived at the venue, he or she was asked to fill out a personal details form. The form was composed of questions taken from dating website questionnaires and from Israeli police security clearance questionnaires
After completing the forms, each participant was invited to climb a stair case into a hot and stuffy attic room, containing a hanging lamp, video camera and the investigator waiting on a double bed.
A series of 10 minutes long encounters yielded a verity of role-plays and interactions; fictional identities were acted by participants, spontaneous confessions occurred, attempts to trick the investigator as well as fragile intimate moments.
One of the participants commented after the performance: "a date is an investigation of a crime you have not yet performed".
Tanin (crocodile) was performed on the opening night of the exhibition, on the front balcony of The Red House overlooking its empty pool. The piece aimed to tell a fake legend, of a crocodile that used to swim in the house's frontal pool and belonged to the mythological owner of the house, Sheikh Murad. The story grows more complicated due to the fact that historians have opposing opinions as to whether Sheik Murad was an actual person or a legendary figure.
By using an inflatable crocodile, a tiny music-box and an animation projection, performative mechanisms that rely on audience participation are created and deconstruced while animating the allegedly forgotten legend.
Video available here