Tal Eshed was in the midst of establishing her artistic career in Israel, when she decided to change her course and travel the globe. This change included shifting the focus from video installations and sculpture to creating more and more performance pieces. Often taking place outdoors in nature, the pieces deal with subjects like spirituality and mysticism, while mixing meditation, healing and environmental awareness with her work. Eshed stretches the boundaries between aesthetics and substance, theory and practice:
what is the first art work you ever made ? how old were you ?
I am not sure I can recall. As a child I used to perform a lot as a dancer. Creating art was ordinary within my childhood. My mom was teaching clay sculpture – she was my first influence and artistic inspiration. I was constantly exposed from a very early age to museums, books and literature, music, dance, and crafts . I didn’t see “art” as something separate then me so there is nothing singular I can point out as a “first creation.”
What was the first art-work you really adored? Was it at a museum? A gallery? A book?
I loved many children’s fantasy books, ballet and music. Also as a child I loved Salvador Dali, not sure where I saw it first, maybe in one of our family trips to Europe..
Throughout your entire career, what is the project you’re most proud of?
It feels like I am connected mostly to my recent creation “Dive In…“ – in particular to all the performances that have evolved since. It’s my soul speaking, my heart beating and my body being… my whole self seeking for truth. It feels like every time I finish the performance “I can die Now…” – I truly have so much gratitude to the works that have been shared and the people that took part in it. It felt so perfectly aligned and meant to be.
Was there ever a time you wanted to quit / switch career?
No. It is part of my being. Creating and healing is built-in. I am so thankful and supported to do what I truly love and desire.
If there were no boundaries – budget, time or otherwise what would you try to pull off?
There are so many ideas I can think of. One of them is to create a massive human sculpture in a specific setting… I’m working on a concept for over a decade now. I think it will all come together in the right space at the exact perfect time.
When do you feel you are most sincere?
In my own perception, creating spaces of transformation using video and sound installation, performance, or any media that feels right to me to create an experience of wholeness. Body – mind – soul connection. Connecting to my heart and soul is when all that I make is coming from a flow of channeling the creations. Being present in the space of the “now” with all its unknown evolution yet to become. I mostly have a plan and then trust and surrender, allow it to take shape – but I always carry a bright clear intention that guides me to each work using tools from my meditation practices like kabbalah mantras and other ways of connections. It is a ceremony, life is a ceremony, connecting to the Universe within to listen to what is waiting to be born.
What art work [of another artist] do you wish you had produced ?
I wouldn’t want to produce any other artist, I just want to be me. However, there are some artist I would have loved to meet in person such as, for example, Ernesto Neto.
What makes you wanna run back to the studio and work?
Almost every experience I have… I am totally in-love with the mystery of life and creation.
What are your thoughts about the art world as a community? What do you like/love and what would you change?
In my opinion, I find the art world community sometimes very structured and framed and surprisingly not always open to embrace new ideas or open to a wider range of viewers. I would love to know that this community has the capacity to grow. We are all human beings sharing the same experiences on the same planet, so we should also take the opportunity to let art be an expression to a wide and diverse expression of humanity and existence.
What do you think Is the role of contemporary art today, post internet and such ? Are galleries still relevant?
I would love to think it is a work in progress of an evolving nature that transcends mediums. There are so many things to express from communication of messages, to ideas from political thought, and there is always room to be experimental in those forms of expression. Yes, galleries are relevant as they provide a space for creators and viewers. Having said that, I think that it is just like every space, indoor and outdoor, whether it is defined as an “art space” like museums, galleries, or any space there is. Art should be free also in the spaces it is showing. Each individual has the freedom of choice to decide what is the right space for them to explore an artwork. The more we define the more we limit. My idea of art is infinite.
Did you ever refuse to do an art work or participate in an exhibition ?
I always make choices and refine myself in the work process. Tuning in is an important part of the work, for me; my truth is at the base of my values. The more I am honest with myself the more I can see clearly what is right for my work.
Written by Shahar Sarig
Edited by Gal Ifrah