Yael Davids

Yael Davids, A Reading That Loves—A Physical Act, 2017. Performance Installation at Neue Galerie, Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017. Performers: Yael Davids and Taisha Ciara Paggett. Photo: Fred Dott

Yael Davids, A Reading That Loves—A Physical Act, 2017. Performance Installation at Neue Galerie, Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017. Performers: Yael Davids and Taisha Ciara Paggett. Photo: Fred Dott

Yael Davids, A Reading That Loves—A Physical Act, 2017. Performance Installation at Neue Galerie, Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017. Performers: Yael Davids and Taisha Ciara Paggett. Photo: Fred Dott

Yael Davids, A Reading That Loves—A Physical Act, 2017. Performance Installation at Neue Galerie, Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017. Performers: Yael Davids and Taisha Ciara Paggett. Photo: Fred Dott

Yael Davids, A Reading That Loves—A Physical Act, 2017. Performance Installation at Neue Galerie, Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017. Performers: Yael Davids and Taisha Ciara Paggett. Photo: Fred Dott

Yael Davids (b. 1968, Kibbutz Tzuba, Jerusalem) lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Davids examines the capacities in which the body operates as a documentary vessel – in connection to collective heritage, political narrative and private biographies. Inspired by Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais, she experiments with somatic learning and alternative systems of knowledge transfer and production. Composed of performative, sculptural, and archival elements, her works often take the form of choreographic assemblages. Recent exhibitions and performances include Van Abbe Museum, the Netherlands (2019); Documenta 14, Germany and Greece (2017); Rotterdam Cultural Histories 7#: Performance Festival Perish, Witte de With, the Netherlands (2016); and Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, France (2015).

Project Description

Yael Davids presents a series of public performances and sets of archival works at Liverpool Central Library. David’s project responds to the weekly unfolding of The Birds of America within the library – a rare nineteenth century book containing illustrations by American naturalist and painter John James Audubon. Hinging around notions of kinship, Davids will work with Liverpool community groups and families to create performances which use the Feldenkrais Method – a system of physical exercise that cultivates awareness through slow, sequential patterns of movement. The groups, with Davids, will perform sequences which examine upon the imagery of Audubon’s birds, focusing on their posture and depicted positioning on the page, as well as the physicality of turning motion that is exerted by the librarian responsible for changing the page. Referencing the diasporic nature of birds, Davids' work examines themes of community, locality and rootedness, alongside migration and diaspora.

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial with support from Mondriaan Fund and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.