Oreet Ashery Performance 2003 22 October 2003 - 29 November 2003
Oreet Ashery, Dancing with Men, 2003, video work, dimensions variable

Foxy Production presents the second New York solo exhibition of London-based artist, OREET ASHERY. Comprising prints, drawings, sculptural reliefs and video works, Performance 2003 furthers Ashery’s concerns with the formation and disruption of identity. Exploring the psycho-sexual within cultural history, Ashery creates a complex landscape that avoids uncomplicated validation and easy answers.

Souvenirs, glamour girls, erotica and handicrafts jostle for attention on a carnivalesque wall of images. This dense vivid collage includes plastic statuettes on cloud-like pedestals, drawings of coy rabbit puppets, digital prints of dreamy women and photographic scenes of miniature gardens and homes. In the video, Dancing with Men, Ashery dresses as an Orthodox Jewish man and participates in a festival in northern Israel in honor of Rabbi Bar Yochai, who requested his followers to “Be Happy, Smile, Dance!”. His followers put his teachings into practice by fusing techno, Arabic music and Jewish prayer, creating a Rave of unexpected cultural fluidity within traditional confines. Too Late Baby, an 8 minute video with an original electronic soundtrack, imbues performance rituals with a sense of failure: a white wedding ceremony is interrupted; Jesus is resurrected in an Italian festival in London; and Ashery re-enacts childhood activities within contested areas of Jerusalem. Treatment, a 6 minute silent video, collages a history of head-shaving; acts of humiliation, sacrifice and sexual investment seep into one another.