Tirtza Even headshot

Tirtza Even

Experimental Video Documentary Maker
2021 Next Level / Spare Room Awards /  2017 3Arts Awards /  2020 The Rauschenberg Residency Fellow
Visual Arts

An experimental documentary maker for over twenty years, Tirtza Even has produced work which ranges from feature-length documentaries to multi-channel installation and interactive video work, and which aims to depict the less overt manifestations of complex, and at times extreme, social/political dynamics in specific locations (e.g. Palestine, Turkey, Spain, the U.S. and Germany, among others).

Relying on subtle disruptions of images and sound, and on almost imperceptible digital manipulation of slow and extended moments, Even’s work elicits those signs of underlying human life that might otherwise remain latent or oppressed but which disorient and interrupt any innocent view of the everyday. Negotiating the sometimes intense opposition between conflicting truths, bringing to the fore the multiplicity and transience of point(s)-of-view, is an underlying formal as well as ethical and political concern in her documentary projects, which hence straddle the fields of video art and experimental documentary.

Even’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, at the Whitney Biennial, the Johannesburg Biennial, as well as in many galleries, museums and festivals in the U.S., Israel and Europe, including Doc Fortnight at MoMA, NY, Rotterdam Film Festival, RIDM Film Festival, Montreal, San Francisco Film Festival, New York Video Festival, Lincoln Center. It has won numerous grants and awards, including 3ARTs Visual Arts Award, Fledgling Distribution Fund, Artadia Award, Chicago, Golden Gate Awards Certificate of Merit, San Francisco International Film Festival; Media Arts Award, the Jerome Foundation; Individual Artists Program Awards, NYSCA, and many others; and has been purchased for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Jewish Museum (NY), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), among others. Even has been an invited guest at many conferences and university programs, including the Whitney Museum Seminar series, the Digital Flaherty Seminar, Open Doc Lab at MIT, SXSW Interactive Conference, Art Pace annual panel, ACM Multimedia and others. Her work is distributed by Heure Exquise, France and Video Data Bank (VDB). Even is currently an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Film, Video, New Media, and Animation department.

 

Featured Artworks

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Chronicle of a Fall

    Chronicle of a Fall, a collaboration with Nadav Assor, is an immersive video installation. The overall project depicts the fragmented, in-transit, experience of a group of immigrant cultural workers scattered around contemporary US., by using emerging technologies such as parallel body worn cameras, volumetric capture and projection mapping.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Land Mine

    Feature documentary (86 minutes). The story of one apartment building in Jerusalem exposes the repressive and damaging manifestations of Israel's psychological and national concept of Defense.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Land Mine

    Feature documentary (86 minutes). The story of one apartment building in Jerusalem exposes the repressive and damaging manifestations of Israel's psychological and national concept of Defense.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Land Mine

    Feature documentary (86 minutes). The story of one apartment building in Jerusalem exposes the repressive and damaging manifestations of Israel's psychological and national concept of Defense.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Natural Life

    A three-fold project comprised of an installation, a feature documentary (77 minutes) and an interactive archive. The overall project challenges inequities in the juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were incarcerated for life without parole (natural life) for crimes they committed as youth.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Sentence Worn

    A video installation produced in collaboration with Mary Heinen McPherson-Glover, reflecting on the impact that long-term incarceration had on her body.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Crosstalk

    A video installation produced in collaboration with Mary Heinen McPherson-Glover, continuing the work done in Sentence Worn, and depicting memories of her extended years of incarceration. The memories are conjured through images captured on a series of road trips to locations significant to Mary's past and present life.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Half Truths and Full Lies

    A multi-channel video installation made in collaboration with Meg McLagan and Elyse Blennerhassett, focusing on the diverging portraits of one of Natural Life’s protagonists, Efrén Paredes, a Latinx man who was sentenced to life without parole at age fifteen, for a murder he claims he did not commit. The multi-channel installation takes on a Rashomon-like quality, as divergent accounts of the crime accrue, forming multiple portraits of Efrén.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Sign Discourse

    A documentary video made in collaboration with Haggith Gor-Ziv, exploring the experiences of people living with a hearing disability, and the construction of social identity through gestural language by a group excluded from the mainstream discourse.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Definition

    Definition, a collaboration with Brian Karl, is a two-fold audio-video project comprised of an interactive audio installation in conjunction with two single channel video pieces. The work attempts to represent the multiplicity of definitions of the term “Jewish” in contemporary United States. The metaphor of a sign-language “dictionary” serves as a formal access point.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Definition

    Definition, a collaboration with Brian Karl, attempts to represent the multiplicity of definitions of the term “Jewish” in the contemporary United States. Multiple scenes occurring in diverse outdoor urban locales are tied together via the visual device of a continuous pan. The staged moments making up this larger panoramic mosaic consist of a “lexicon” or vocabulary of invented and choreographed physical gestures embedded in the context of otherwise ordinary behaviors and postures by several dozen selected actors/dancers.

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Once a Wall, or Ripple Remains

    The last fold in a documentary project reflecting on encounters that took place in Palestine in 1998-99, and spanning more than ten years as well as a wide range of media (from single channel video, CD-ROM, website, to written text, 3-D animation, and interactive installation).

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Once a Wall, or Ripple Remains

    The last fold in a documentary project reflecting on encounters that took place in Palestine in 1998-99, and spanning more than ten years as well as a wide range of media (from single channel video, CD-ROM, website, to written text, 3-D animation, and interactive installation).

  •  Tirtza Even artwork Once a Wall, or Ripple Remains

    The last fold in a documentary project reflecting on encounters that took place in Palestine in 1998-99, and spanning more than ten years as well as a wide range of media (from single channel video, CD-ROM, website, to written text, 3-D animation, and interactive installation).