archive :  Adina Bar-On

archive : Adina Bar-On

Born December 19, 1951 in Kibbutz Kfar Blum, Israel, is a pioneer performance artist, considered to be the first performance artist in Israel.   Active for four decades, Bar-On’s work continuously explores the relationship between identity and presence, and most importantly “conflict of identity and conflicting identities”. Her performances consist of unique use of human body and voice expression, close to modern dance and experimental sound techniques. Adina’s work emphasizes strong connection of art and non-structural ethics of behavior, and introduces it by activating audience’s high levels of attention and consciousness.   Adina has been an active performer since 1973, when she was a 3rd year student at the Bezalel Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Over the years, she has presented her work in Art Museums, culture events, and galleries, in Israel, Europe, across Asia, Canada and the USA. Making it her business to emphasize her political and social stand, she has insistently performed in social and political events.


Title: No matter
date : 2014
venue : Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
Adina considers the first “No Matter” a work in which she had succeeded, to a greater extent, to make “active viewers” of her audience – meaning: Her audience were made conscious of their own presence in the performance experience and therefore took a more active part, rather than the usual passive, during the performance; The audience were made to understand thatthe performance experience is what they had viewed, as individuals, and is how they had chosen to react, as private entities, rather than what the artist had done.


Title: Dreamy
date : 18 May 2006
venue : Teatrino Villa Reale di Monza, Italy   
project : Art Action  
camera and edit : Sakiko Yamaoka IPAMIA
Laying on my back as I project my voice into space is what had been the incentive for creating this performance. The awkward position facilitated both qualities of sounds and twisted movements which fascinated me in their suggestion of both lament and birth.

There were a few performances of Dreamy in which I also engaged my audience into an evolving physical situation that led everyone to the floor – laying beside me. The audience’s experience was enhanced by this their positioning, when the voice bounced back from floor to the walls and back to us.

The voice work was a based on two songs, which I had merged, which served as emotional points of departure, potent with personal associations. The two songs were: 1)”Somewhere (There’s a Place for Us)”, from Leonard Bernstein’s American Musical West Side Story, 1957, and 2) “Avinu Malkeinu”, a Jewish prayer recited during Jewish services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as on the Ten Days between the two high holidays.

When Dreamy was performed during the 2nd Lebanon War, at Heder Gallery in Tel Aviv, the performance gained an added meaning for me and the audience.


Title: Vision
date : 2003
venue : Piotrkovtrybunalski, Poland
project : Interakcje 2003
camera and edit : Sakiko Yamaoka IPAMIA

The vision is initially that of a woman wearing black with her hair concealed under a dark material. She stands, with her eyes shut, then sits clutching a white bowl whose opening is concealed by its tilt. It only appears by the slight nods of her head that she is observing – us, or her-self. Her fingers concealed, inside the bowl, seem to touch substance inquisitively, then her finger seemingly delineates forms in the space in front of her and then color.There is the depiction substance line and color as visual insinuations; A mental discourse on the painterly, on the aesthetic perhaps. But mostly, this is about insight and foresight and oversight.


Title : Sacrifice
date : 2002
venue : Piotrkovtrybunalski, Poland
project : Interakcje 2002
camera and edit : Sakiko Yamaoka IPAMIA

In Sacrifice emotions form in vocal enunciations and melodic structures reminiscent of marches, lullabies, woman’s chatter, a baby crying, screams and anguish.
Victor Petrov wrote “Concentrated emotions, plaintive singing and a scream, gesture, extreme emotionality. This is the inner dialogue of a screaming soul, a tale of time, reflections of one`s place in the world. The powerful vocal sounds accompanying it are like associations with femininity, love, and the origins of life”.In 2005 a sound disc will be launched (by TotamTo Sound & Media, Warsaw) adapting this performance, Sacrifice, to a total audio work.