Avital Barak is a curator in the Center for Digital Art (CDA) Holon and a scholar of movement and performance. Her Ph.D. focuses on the varieties of resistance visible in manifestations of movement in the public space. Barak teaches various courses on the history and theory of performance and dance in public space, writing, and cultural studies in the Dance Department at Kibbutzim College. Her curatorial work includes exhibitions based on research, public events, leading research groups, and editing the online journal Ma'arav. In the last decade, she curated solo exhibitions and group exhibitions based on research in Israel and abroad and published articles in prominent journals and publications in Hebrew and English.
Since 2017, she has been co-developing a method of ״collective investigation״ at the Institute of Public Presence. A method based on accumulating collective knowledge based on group encounters, free of hierarchy and leadership. This method is based on artistic research practices, spatial and virtual wandering, and transdisciplinary gathering.
In 2014 I curated, with Eyal Vexler, a video exhibition and art event that dealt with freedom of movement. The video installations presented different perspectives on freedom of movement; music and dance performances reacted to the installations, and in the concluding panel we discussed various restrictions on movement in Israel/Palestine, physical, social, and political. Since then, thoughts about movement and its political potential have been at the core of everything I do. Whether I am teaching yoga, curating an art exhibition, or writing a theoretical text; these creative, radical political gestures arising from the junction of movement and restriction are always present.
I’m interested in different perspectives on movement and performance and different variations of resistance: in art, in theory, and as political action. The medium changes every time, but the motivation is similar, exposing these gestures, learning from them, and transforming them into action in the world.