Interview - Artist Shelly Nadashi
Glasgow Transmission show continues interest in puppet shows
Your new installation continues your interest in puppet shows – how did that fascination come about?
The first puppets’ performances I saw were in Hungary when I was traveling in 2000. They have some very authentic but contemporary puppetry there. I decided to enrole as a student at the School for Visual Theatre in Jerusalem, which was established by a group of people who were very committed to puppetry and experimental theatre.
How important is the environment of the Transmission Gallery to your new installation?
Transmission Gallery is easily accessible from the street and everybody knows it. Once I walked past and my friend Anna said, “Look, here’s your erect white column of hope.” I thought, great, why not collectiviise it and title the show Our Erect White Column of Hope? I think I’m happy that never happened.
Your work often explores the relationships between performers and objects. What types of objects and where do you find them?
Sometimes I make them and sometimes find them. It can be very simple really: in a performance at Sloan’s for instance there was a tomato that a miniature puppet threw at the audience. What made it so enjoyable is the fact that I had to rehearse it many times so that the movement of the puppet would look reliable. It had to be a very particular movement of the puppet’s hand – taking the tomato, looking at it, becoming angry with it and finally rejecting it.
You studied in Jerusalem and Glasgow. How do the arts scenes differ in these two places?
The two places are utterly different. Israel is only 62 years old and is the size of Wales more or less. The modern Hebrew that we speak was rejuvenated from the Biblical Hebrew only about 100 years ago – so even when I read art reviews in English it often feels to me as if the language is much more organic or suitable for this type of content than the modern Hebrew, which is still constantly inventing itself.
Shelly Nadashi: Text Me Faster Dance Company, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 9 Apr.