DIY16: 2019 - Liat Rosenthal & Alex Eisenberg: Shiduchs, Shabbes and Shmucks

Exploring artist responses to Jewishness and antisemitism by spending Shabbat (the Jewish day of rest) together.

Deadline for applications: 2pm, Thursday 20 June

This DIY is supported by Southbank Centre, LondonSouthbank Centre

Project summary

Shiduchs, Shabbes and Shmucks*  brings together a group of participants to explore the performance of Jewishness, in the spectre of the recent debates about antisemitism in the UK. This workshop is structured around ‘Shabbat’ - the Jewish day of rest - expect chicken soup, fish balls and fried fish** alongside rabbinic interventions, partner study, and time to make artistic responses inspired by the word ‘schmuck’. 

This DIY emerges from a deep fondness for Jewish culture whilst at the same time a yearning for artistic spaces that can approach it critically, radically and humorously. Across three days we will create a homely space for participants to wrestle with these ideas and think about what it means to be ‘out as Jewish’ in artistic contexts.

Antisemitism can be hard for people to talk about. “Am I saying the right thing?” “It’s not my issue.” “I don’t know enough about it to respond.” We think Live Art can play a vital role in opening up some of these questions and conversation about antisemitism and by extension, Jewishness. We see this DIY as a space to have honest, critical and possibly difficult conversations around these issues.

*Yiddish for ‘matchmakers’, ‘day of rest’ and ‘contemptible people/penis’

 **vegan options also available.

How to apply

Calling artists, creatives, thinkers, movers n’ shakers to join us for a DIY in which we will eat, drink, discuss, debate, learn, reflect and create.

This DIY is open to anyone working with Live Art and related disciplines. We welcome artists from a diverse set of backgrounds, especially those who make work about minority identity and are concerned with Jewishness, antisemitism, Palestine/Israel, islamophobia, anti-black/asian racism and homo/queer/transphobia.

We’re keen to foster an intimate space, so keeping the group size to approx 10-12 participants.

Dates, times and location

Dates: Friday 4 October - Sunday 6th October 2019
Location: Southbank Centre, London


Friday 4th October - Preparing for Shabbat including cooking and Friday night dinner. A domestic space (address tbc)

Saturday 5th October - Shabbat - day of rest. A domestic space  (address tbc)

Sunday 6th October - Film screenings and artistic responses to the idea of the ‘shmuck’. Southbank Centre, London

Other Notes:

Food will be provided Friday 4th and Saturday 5th. Please bring a packed lunch on Sunday 6th.

Sorry but we are not able to provide accommodation. If you have specific accommodation needs please let us know and we will endeavour to facilitate something for you.

This DIY is presented as part of Jewy Jewy Jew Jew, an artist-led research project exploring all things Jewy.

The artists

Liat Rosenthal is a Curator (Tate Lates, Tate Modern) and Creative Producer, specialising in widening participation across art forms. Since 2015, she has been leading on some of Tate Modern’s most ambitious projects - from Turbine Hall festivals, to the Launch Weekend of Tate Modern Two, to the launch of the London’s largest free gallery event, Tate Modern’s Tate Lates. From 2011-15 Liat was in role as the Head of Community Programming at JW3, Europe’s largest Jewish Community Centre, and since, set-up House of Schmutter Festival (Richmix, 2016) celebrating contemporary Jewish arts practice rooted in East London’s heritage. 

Alex Eisenberg is an artist, producer and curator working with live art, performance and video. He performs as Gaye Rimmer in The Rimmers, a queer, stereotypical and grotesque Jewish family. In 2019 he is working on a short film and a series of durational performances with his collaborators Candy Gigi and Tom Joseph. Since 2016 The Rimmers have hosted, Buttmitzvah, the popular queer Jewish club night. Alex also works part-time at LADA on a variety of projects, events and initiatives. In 2017 he was a recipient of an Artist International Development Award (Al-Ma’mal Gallery, Jerusalem) focusing on performance art in Palestine. Between 2007 and 2012 he performed as part of the artist collective Present Attempt and curated SHOWTiME (RichMix/Riverside Studios 2010-13), a platform for performance in London. He is a visiting lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. 

For questions about this DIY, please contact the artists.

Part of DIY16 - Call for Participants