A graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Adina Bar-On is a long-time leading performance artist in Israel.  She is renowned for her total use of the body in her performances, and for the powerfully evocative effects she elicits through concentrated sound, movement and facial expression.  She performs in major art museums and galleries in Israel as well as in social and political events.  In recent years, she has also been teaching and performing abroad.

A Trilogy on Motherhood and War
Performed in Asiatopia #6, November, 2004
Bangkok, Thailand

The work, performed in a public place, is dramatically silent, and composed of three visual images that evolve quite slowly, evoking a meditative quality. Bar-On enters the performance area after the audience has been there long enough to form some social groupings.

The first image is a woman dressed in black, her hair covered and her eyes shut. She is seated on a chair, a white bowl on her knees. As her fingers search in the bowl, a white cloth emerges, eventually to be recognized as a baby’s shirt.
The second image is a woman dressed in black with a small white folded shirt beside her. Alternating her gaze between the baby’s shirt and the audience she finds sweets in her pocket and crushes them on the ground.

The third image is a woman dressed in black and seated. She is holding a baby’s folded white shirt. A reproduction of Durer`s Madonna and Child, printed on the shirt, is gradually revealed only to be concealed again.

The performance is interactive, and engages the audience in silent gazes which may cause some members of the audience to retreat and others to cluster to each other, while still others come closer to the performer.  In this way, while offering strong images of mourning, the performance also studies the way in which people might or might not form groups when faced with powerful emotional situations.