(c) Anna von Glasenapp

Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends


Bar Mitzvah’d at Forty


In his work Berlin-based Israeli artist Ariel Efraim Ashbel regularly interweaves and confronts seemingly independent historical, political, theoretical, and pop cultural references. Since 2014, Ashbel has been working on a cycle of solo performances in which he appropriates rituals and social gathering on Jewish holidays and examines the traditions of these occasions for their current relevance, revealing references and opening them up for personal access.
The Bar Mitzvah – the Jewish “rite of passage” or confirmation – is a meaningful transitional moment in a jewish person’s life. It’s when the young person is being inaugurated into the community. Not having one in his youth, Ariel Efraim Ashbel is entering the process now and will perform the ceremony on his 40th birthday, in the summer of 2022. The process, however, has already begun and will continue to evolve over the course of several residencies in Frankfurt. Employing various forms of documentation, the process is constantly shifting between the live and digital realms, while thinking critically on archival practices through a jewish frame of thought. Combining historical research with performative strategies, Ashbel, together with friends, colleagues and mentors, will initiate events which address the tensions between traditions and performance, between memory and speculation, and between spiritual commitment and intersectional solidarity.

11.–20.07.2021: Residenvy & Instagram Take Over: “Preparing a Bar Mitzvah’d Part 1”
12.09.2021: Performance “Rosh HaShanah 5782: on a politics of love”
September 2021: Residency & Instagram Take Over: “Preparing a Bar Mitzvah’d Part 2”