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Ruth Novaczek
Novazcek continually collapses geographical space and time in her work, we are constantly reminded of the inter-relationships between places, people and cultures.

Each metropolis holds within it a microcosm of another: Novaczek jumps with ease from London to Paris to Tel Aviv to New York. The body of works reflect historic moments both personal and cultural. " We understand ourselves through stories that are handed down ...but also ones that we invent for ourselves". Alia Syed ('Newcross to Hoxton' 11/02 FilmWaves Art in Sight).

Novaczek performs in some way in all her films up until 1998. 'Cheap Philosophy' was made in 1993 entirely on video as a series of soliloquys to camera. In this play to camera she presents us with a series of stereotypes using various wigs, dresses and gestures. Ruth's Jewishness, her obsession with meaning and love, becomes a comment on love and sex in post Aids Thatcherite England.The characters represent stories already known to us; icons. The strength of the piece lies in how these icons break down, it's a comedy of errors, the fissures in each reveal not so much the films failure but the failure of modernism to grapple with the gaping hole it left by murdering God. The conviction with which it holds its own rationality is blinding.

"They came dreaming"(Ruth) From 1992 until 95 when, he was assassinated, by an Israeli right wing student, Yitzhak Rabin was Prime Minister of Israel. In 1994 Arafat, Peres, and Rabin were awarded the Nobel Peace Price, it was a time of hope for peace. Novaczek made 'Talk Israel'. Novaczek interviews a disparate group of Israelis from an old Indian couple living (unhappily) on a kibbutz to a trendy gay couple who announce 'Israel is a ghetto. Most of the people came from ghettos.' Through her sense of humour, use of music and editing Novaczek manages to unravel and break the perceived hegemony of Israeli mono-culture Her work also has a very wry sense of humour. A man, Alberto, dances, to Dana International the Israeli transexual who won the Eurovision song contest, Alberto camps it up like some fictional "levantine lush" he is framed in front of a counter full of pickles "Tel Aviv is good for pickles" says the camera operator (Novaczek). The counter becomes a stage and Alberto performs, this staging contextualizes the other stories; people become characters, talking about their dreams, the myths that have created this land. We become aware not only of the mythical homeland of Israel but the mythical nature of all Homelands. Alberto's eloquence comes from his dance, his silence, his vibrant re-interpretation of gesture, rhythm and myth encompassing both sides of the Semitic wedding tradition. His hands dance around the frame in the same way that the truth of each persons story helps to re - frame the promise of this very unboundaried land.

Still from Talk Isreal by Ruth Novaczek, 1992/2002
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