“Reading is what? Fundamental!” Following this passionate exclamation, articulated by drag performers and queer community members for decades, “Reading Ruth” will be a performative offering taking seriously its complexity: being a site for observation, entertainment and contemplation, loving and teasing, shedding light and throwing shade, pointing out each other’s flaws in a loving and challenging way, offering tough love and sincere humor. At the heart of this night-long happening will be the Book of Ruth, a text of the Tanakh and thus also of the Old Testament, that is traditionally recited and analyzed during the Jewish Holiday of “Shavuot”. Like no other biblical book, it addresses the social reality for women in the patriarchal society of ancient Israel. The book of Ruth also brings to the front critical questions regarding migration, kinship, inheritance, loyalty, response-ability and affinity beyond tribalism, all while elaborating a dramatic story on the stage of economical and ecological practices. Offering a transdisciplinary, feminist approach both to the original text and to the practice of performance making as a hunting and gathering ritual, Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends with Prof. Lukas Feireiss will offer this festive occasion to students of diverse backgrounds and of diverse interests. It will be a celebratory mix of reading, discussing, performing, and hanging out with music, food and drink and a variety of performative gestures. As in the tradition of the "Tikkun” the medieval custom of staying up studying Torah for the whole night leading up to Shavuot, the event will stretch over 8 hours and will present an elaboration to the work of Ashbel and friends, who have been creating performances adjacent to the Jewish calendar since 2014. Students will be invited to bring their readings to the table and participate in the creation of this multilayered, multidirectional happening.
Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: regular participation, conceptualization, production and active contribution to the night-long performance/happening.
Lukas Feireiss works as curator, author and educator in the international mediation of contemporary cultural reflexivity beyond disciplinary boundaries. Feireiss is author and editor of numerous books, and curator of manifold exhibitions. He has lectured and taught at various universities worldwide. Since 2021 he’s piloting new formats for transdisciplinary artistic education and project supervision at the Berlin University of Arts.
Ariel Efraim Ashbel is a Berlin based performance maker. He makes aesthetic spectacles weaving together a wide array of historical, political, theoretical, and pop cultural references. Through composing and sampling, he collaborates with his transdisciplinary, international team of friends to make compositions at the intersection of theater, visual art, dance, music, and installation.