Lecture-Performance by Li Lorian
Exodus is a project that takes the form of a lecture-performance, using Skype and split audiences, researching questions of mobility, migration, outsiderness, homeland and statelessness.
Encompassing several journeys of migrants and refugees, the work reflects upon the position of being away from one's homeland and mother-tongue. It also examines the historical and political connections between different mobility statuses – from Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during World War II, to the 1948 Palestinian exodus and Nakba, to Syrian-born Palestinians making attempts to find shelter in Europe today – being second-time refugees, through the artist's point of view as a Jewish-Israeli based in Jerusalem, temporary located in Germany.
In a world of migration, new questions of national and ethnic identity arise, while global colonialist and imperialist forces have made people foreigners in their homeland. I am interested in both the subjective emotional aspect of being a stranger and the effect of it on one’s political position.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem/ Let my right hand forget her cunning/ Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth/ If I remember thee not/ If I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy// Psalms
Within the form of a lecture-performance, I weave different references from the Jewish tradition and place it in a new context. Performed in English, Hebrew, Arabic and German, the “Babylonian tower” indicates my experience in different social and cultural environments. Using Skype and split audiences - one live and the other abroad (watching the piece live through a screen on-line), I wish to research the long distance relations between the two audiences and examine what is “out of sight, out of mind” both in format and in content.
From Europe of WWII, through Palestine of 1948, to Syria of 2011, the desert to the Promised Land and a science fictional oasis. A journey with a cardboard suitcase navigating the Mediterranean Sea and Skype communication. Out of sight, out mind. Measuring the distance between Germany and Jerusalem with my grandmother, Shoshana, as my compass.
Li Lorian is a Jerusalem-based performance artist working in theater, video and visual arts. She is a co-founder of Pandora Collective for independent visual-theater artists. Her artistic process consists of a research of visual language and new performance practices; she is interested in political situations and how documentary elements can be translated into performance.
Developed at Pandora Collective and Akademie Schloss Solitude, supported by Mifal Hapais, The Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, the Jerusalem Fund and the Lederman Foundation through the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada