Ruth Patir

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What Is My Work About?

I work primarily with video, performance and some version of curatorial work. In my projects I interact with the neoliberal institute that lives within me, and I do so by constantly confusing the private with the public. I constantly take part in slight manipulations, in different modes of appropriation and in the world of soft politics. In my recent projects I interviewed key figures, I built guerrilla systems and I reenacted personal stories. I worked with the New York Daily News dream interpretation to decipher a political dream, I built a guerrilla camouflage society that investigated leisure in central park and I hired a palestinian car mechanic and turned him into a shaman.


Artist Statement

My work is embedded in the desire to better understand how the institutions effects us. It circulates around communities and community figures and asks questions about labor, capitalism, political imagination and how that affects identities. Sometimes it is rooted in community action and other times I find that the small phenomena can be just right to tell a story. I see our world as blinded by the hyper-realism of capitalism, and I ask to capture the relics and side effects of how the neoliberal effects us from the inside. I try to do this with great empathy and desire through constantly blurring the boundaries between fiction and fact and between private and public.

I was brought up in Tel-Aviv. Ever since I was in high school I was involved with the arts and arts initiatives. In Israel I ran art spaces, curated group shows and wrote for several art magazines – never separating that from my studio practice. In 2011 I received my BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and during that time I found myself gravitating more and more towards collaborative time based work. A large exhibition I curated titled The Fall in 2009 celebrated the big market crash of 2008 in an event that included 65 artists and more than 90 collaborators. The project created such a space for interactions that I began to realized that social interactions have unwittingly become a material for my work. I began orchestrating micro communities and observing the interactions that spontaneously emerge in various situations. This new material introduced new formal challenges, the biggest of which was how to develop an art form that is political without being didactic or moralistic. My solution was thinking not of art as political but of politics as artistic; By this I mean to rethink not the aesthetics of politics but the concept of the political itself as an artistic notion.

Searching for that friction I realized that awkwardness is a fascinating phenomenon. It exhibits delicateness publicly and has the potential to reveal the fraud of our social roles. Unlike the cynicism and critical stance taken by satire, awkwardness evokes both humor and compassion, a combination I cherish and attempt to reach in my practice. In my 2011 film Invented for Life I worked with a ‘corporate theater’ club within the German Bosch plant. I orchestrated a play in which members of this group acted out each others stories. In this way, I brought attention to individual complexities within larger corporate systems. Blurring the boundaries between documentary and fiction and utilizing awkwardness as a means to help tell the story. Through this work, a project of two and a half years, video two became a prominent material for my practice. Its fluid qualities, its ability to include multiple speakers, its marriage to the history of post-traumatic experience and the opportunity to create the ‘nonevent’ are now my tools.

Most recently, I have had the pleasure of receiving my MFA at Columbia University which brought me to New York (2015). This new relocation has also inspired my current project titled No Time For SleepingIt started with a dream I had about President Barack Obama; in the dream Obama is an artist and he was shaping clay. It was a very quiet and stoic scene, which caught me (a foreigner) by surprise. After the dream I became curious to how the image of the president found its was to my subconscious. I decided to interview a celebrity dream interpreter about political dreams and I also became a member in a Meet Up dream group in order to find more dreamers with similar syndromes. The video instillation documents collective activity of sharing by sleeping and the work presents the dream itself as a site of political intervention. Suspended in the continuous present of dreams, the work tries to demonstrates an expiration of the long term. Lauren Lawrence, the celebrity dream interpreter that I worked with, told me that “the ordinary dream may be considered as a possible vehicle of prophecy and that the narrative of dreams can be a universal key that connects us with our unconscious by accessing an otherwise unreachable plane, realm of perception, or experience. It is from this unconscious realm that collective, universal remembrances emerge.


Born 1984, Lives and works in New York, NY.


2015 MFA Visual Arts (New Genres), Columbia University, New York, NY
2011 BFA Visual Arts, Fine Arts, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, Israel
2010 Erasmus at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart ‐ Class of Christian Jankowski and Class of Rainer Ganahl
2006 Philosophy and combined Arts studies. Tel Aviv University

Selected Group Exhibitions and Screenings

2015 Floating Point (Curator: Paddy Johnson), Judith Charles Gallery, New York
2015 Columbia University MFA Visual Arts Thesis Show, Fisher Landau Center for Art, New York
2014 New Directors/ New Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art  (MOMA) & Lincoln Center film Society, New York
2014 Talent Borrow Genius steal, Gerilla show at ALDI Supermarkets, Stuttgart, Germany
2014 Columbia MFA First Year Exhibition, Mirian & Ira D.Wallach Art Gallery, NYC
2014 Interventions, Columbia University of New York Graduate program of Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies online journal
2014 “Networking Tips for Shy People”, 200 Livingston, Brooklyn, NY
2014 “Unusual Suspects”, “La Filature” Film Festival, Mulhouse, France
2013 “See Under: Actor” (Curator: Noam Segal), Petah‐Tikva Museum, Petah‐Tikva
2013 “Under the Mountain” (Curator: Omer Krieger), New‐public Art Festival, Jerusalem
2012 “The Pretenders” (Curator: Sally Heftel Nave), “Kav 16” Community Gallery for Art, Tel‐Aviv
2012 “Black Box”, Billboard Exhibition, ‘Manofim’, Jerusalem
2012  Screening at “Ambiguous Being” program, Kav 16 ‐ Comunity Gallery for Contemporary Art, Tel‐Aviv. Houg‐Gah Museum, Taipei City, Taiwan. TamtamART, Berlin, Germany.
2012 “Speranza Lions Club”, UND 7, Karhsruhe and Villa Massimo, Rome
2012 “Monkeys and nine Men”, 123 Allenby street, Tel‐Aviv
2011  BFA Final Graduation exhibition, Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem

Curatorial Projects

2015 Programmer for “Works in Progress”; MODA (MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies) and Visual Arts MFA panels discussions at Columbia University
2014 Curator of group show “Networking Tips for Shy People”, 200 Livingston, Brooklyn, NY
2012‐ 2013 Co‐ Founder of “Mazeh9”, artists’ municipal space, Tel‐Aviv
2012  Curator of “Black Box”, Public Billboard exhibition in Jerusalem
2011‐2012 Curator of  “The Vetrine”, 12 solo shows in a glass box on Allenby street, Tel‐Aviv
2011 Co‐editor of “Kartonaj”, collaborative Art experiment turned Art magazine
2009  Curator of “T/Fall”, group show, Panorama building, Tel‐Aviv


2015 Experience Economies: Landscape Experience, Residency with Morgan J Pruett and Mark Dion, PA
2014 Institute of Investigate Living, Workshop with Andrea Zittel and James Trainor, Joshua Tree, CA

Awards and Nominees

2015 The David Berg Foundation Fellowship, NY
2013 Artis fellowship, Columbia University NY
2012 Young Global Shapers community of the World Economic Forum
2012 The New Israel Fund for Cinema and TV Grant
2011 Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Prize for Excellence
2010 Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart Prize for Excellence


2012 TimeOut Tel‐Aviv, Art Journalist
2011‐2012 Maariv Daily Newspaper, Journal culture Magazine, Art Journalist