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Berlin

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  • “Arc”,  a collaborative work by Tomer Zirkilevich, Noa Heyne and Anna Mirkin, performed November 6th 2021 at Salon am Moritzplatz

  •  “Yoshvey Tevel” by Rachel Kohn, Salon am Moritzplatz from November 6th-15th

  • “27 Club” by Paola Pilnik, performed December 3rd and 5th at Framed in Friedrichshain

  • “Read The Book”, with Rachel Libeskind, Julia Bosson and Gur Liraz at Salon am Moritzplatz, November 11th 2021

  • Noa Heyne and her sculpture as part of the collaborative work “Arc”,  at Salon am Moritzplatz, November 6th-15th

  • “The Gur and Julia Show”, performed at Framed on December 4th 2021

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Berlin

about

LABA Berlin was launched in 2021 in partnership with the Jewish Center Fraenkelufer Synagogue, an organization engaged in building a new Jewish cultural and art center in the Kreuzberg district. It is located in a soon to be reconstructed synagogue destroyed during the Second World War. 

LABA BER will bring together a group of international creative personalities based in Berlin – Israeli, Russian, American, German – reflecting the rich diversity of Jewish life in modern Germany. A mix of visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians and actors – our group studies and discusses classical Jewish texts in the diverse, beating heart of Berlin. As a group, we explore what the future of Jewish art in Germany could look like, promoting diversity and contributing to making Jewish art and culture present again in everyday German cultural life.

Our hub was launched in 2021 as a part of the national theme year,“1700 years of Jewish Life in Germany”, during which programs around the country explored  the relationships between Jews and Christians in Germany – both today and thoughout history. The artistic angle on this complex topic is intended to create an innovative approach to this 1700-year-old tension, and provide insights into the perspectives of contemporary Jewish artists living and working in Germany.​

staff

  • Dr. Dekel Peretz - Program Director

    Dekel was born in Tel-Aviv, grew up in New York City and has been living in Berlin since 2002. As president of the Jüdisches Zentrum Synagoge Fraenkelufer, Dekel is spearheading efforts to rebuild the main sanctuary of the Fraenkelufer Synagogue as a community, cultural and arts center. Dekel is the founder of Eruv Hub – Germany’s first coworking space facilitating collaboration between Berlin’s most innovative Jewish initiatives. He is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Max-Weber-Institute of Sociology of Heidelberg University and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

  • Bryan Fellbusch - Operations Director

    Bryan is a New Yorker of German background who has been based in Berlin since 2009. He studied at New York University, Humboldt University, and recently completed an MA in European History at the University of Vienna. Bryan has worked in the historical tourism and events sector in Berlin for much of the last decade, and since 2020 has managed a number of different cultural programs for the Jüdisches Zentrum Synagoge Fraenkelufer.

  • Olaf Kühnemann - Creative Director

    Olaf is a painter, winner of the Isracard and Tel Aviv Museum of Art Prize of 2008, and was included in the jurors' pick of the 2014 Thames & Hudson publishing's book, "100 Painters of Tomorrow." Since 2009, Olaf has been living with his family in Berlin, yet continues to work regularly as an artist in Berlin and Tel-Aviv. Olaf "is" Israeli and German, but not exactly either one of these stories. Questions about identity formation and constant transformation have been a motivating force and substance throughout his life, and his practice as an artist. Olaf earned his MFA from the Parsons School of Design in New York.

  • Dr. Tal Hever-Chybowski - Resident Scholar

    Tal is the director of the Paris Yiddish Center — Medem Library (Maison de la culture yiddish — Bibliothèque Medem), where he teaches Yiddish literature and Jewish history and culture. In 2016, he founded “Mikan Ve’eylakh: Journal for Diasporic Hebrew” (Berlin & Paris), of which he is editor-in-chief. In 2017, he founded "Yiddish in Berlin", a summer program for Yiddish language and literature in the Free University. He is currently directing “Jacob Jacobson,” an apocalyptic tragicomedy written in Yiddish in 1930 by Aaron Zeitlin.

2022 Berlin LABA FELLOWS

  • Julia Bosson

    Julia is a writer originally from Ojai, California. Her work has appeared in publications such as BOMB, VICE, Guernica, and the Believer, among others. She received a BA and MFA from Columbia University in creative writing and has taught at the Cooper Union, Columbia University, and Baruch College. Additionally the recipient of a Fulbright Grant, she is currently working on a novel about the life and journalism of Joseph Roth.

    Julia wrote a text that was incorporated into Rachel Libeskind’s “The Book”, as well as a separate work that was theatrically weaved into and read aloud during a jazz show lead by Gur Liraz.

  • Noa Heyne

    Noa is a Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist. Heyne works in sculpture, performance, and animation; she creates installations that emphasize the physical involvement of the viewers and are influenced by marionette theater and architecture. Heyne studied painting and comparative literature in Jerusalem, and received her MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2017), where she also held a position as an adjunct professor in 2018. 

    Noa produced a sculpture installation at Salon am Moritzplatz from the 6th-15th of November 2021, in collaboration with Anna Mirkin and Tomer Zirkilevich, entitled “Arc”.

     

  • Rachel Kohn

    Rachel was born in Prague and grew up in Munich, where she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 1993 she has been living in Berlin as a freelance sculptor and has been supported by the Künstlerförderung Berlin and the Stiftung Zurückgeben. In 2020 she co-founded the activist group fair share for women artists.

    Rachel’s complementary wall installations, Yoshvey Tevel [world dwellers] (in Salon am Moritzplatz from November 6-15th) and Migration (in FRAMED from December 3-5th), exposed the tensions between the collective and the individual interpretations of being chosen. 

  • Rachel Libeskind

    Rachel is a multidisciplinary artist whose research-based practice examines the construction of history and the enduring power of images. Working across collage, installation, video and performance, Libeskind appropriates and recontextualizes images in order to disrupt imposed boundaries – between the personal and public, ancient and contemporary, societal and cultural – and reveal unexpected parallels. 

    Rachel’s “The Book” was one of the focal points of the exhibition series at Salon am Moritzplatz and is soon to be on display in the US.

  • Gur Liraz

    Gur is an Israeli Jazz guitar player and composer based in Berlin. Gur majored in Jazz at the prestigious Thelma Yellin High School, before taking up the classical guitar for his studies in Jerusalem. In 2013 after studying with Jazz guitar legend Peter Bernstein in New York, Gur moved to Berlin and soon became involved in its rapidly evolving Jazz scene. He performs and records regularly with some of the scene’s most promising musicians, as well as in his hometown of Tel-Aviv and around Europe. 

    Gur performed to a reading of Rachel Libeskind’s “The Book” and additionally organized a separate jazz show during which another work by Julia Bosson was read by the singer Amanda Becker at Framed in early December 2021.

  • Anna Mirkin

    Anna was born in Moscow and immigrated to Israel in 1992, living and working in Berlin since 2018. She merges different disciplines and mediums in her practice combining; painting, drawing, textile, new media, installations, and performance, with participatory and community-based projects. Her work explores collective sub consciousness and individual self-identity, as they appear in cultural structures and everyday situations. 

    Anna produced a print installation at Salon am Moritzplatz from the 6th-15th of November 2021, in collaboration with Noa Heyne and Tomer Zirkilevich, entitled “Arc”.

  • Paola Pilnik

    Paola is a gender-bending, accordion-playing storyteller from São Paulo, Brazil. As an actor and writer, Paola aims to provoke audiences through performances that subvert the norm. Paola (who uses “daddy” as a gender pronoun) graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in acting and creative writing. Currently in development are a dystopic queer Spaghetti Western TV series and a new solo show 27 Club. You can also catch daddy performing regularly in bars and clubs throughout Berlin as Mojo, the Sword Swallower of Switzerland – part of the Drag King collective Venus Boys.

    Paola’s “27 Club – a quarter-life crisis rock ‘n’ roll funeral” was performed twice to a full house in early December at Framed in Friedrichshain.

  • Tomer Zirkilevich

    Tomer is a Berlin-based Israeli choreographer, director, performer and teacher. After graduating from School of Dance Arts at the Kibbutzim College, Tel-Aviv, he moved to  Germany in 2013, where he founded the Tomer Zirkilevich Company. He is actively involved in  the German independent dance scene, creating and producing most of his works between Berlin and Munich. Tomer works in the fields of physical theater, screen-stage performance and video dance. His pieces deal with conflicts of values and social norms.

    Tomer choreographed a dance performance at Salon am Moritzplatz from November 2021 in collaboration with Noa Heyne and Anna Mirkin, entitled “Ark”.

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