‘The Existential Choice’, a 3D video installation by London-based Israeli artist Eva Lanska, will have its world premiere at the Biennale Arte 2022

London-based multifaceted Israeli filmmaker and videographer Eva Lanska will unveil The existential choicehis new photographic and 3D video choreographic installation, at Palazzo Bragadin in Venice, Italy from April 19 to 24 on the occasion of the opening of the Biennale Arte 2022. The 3D video installation will also be available as NFT.

In the multimedia installation, Lanska uses gesture and symbolism to explore the intense closeness between collaboration and competition. For one hypnotic minute, she offers a sensitive portrait of the tenderness and tension that can often be held from woman to woman. The video is accompanied by a series of still photographic images that invite greater insight, using photography as a medium for the artist to explore the ideas she stands for from new perspectives.

Lanska captures movement to convey symbolic meaning. By dramatizing the relationship between two ballerinas, she highlights the socio-ethical sacrifices dancers continually face. As an embodiment of femininity, the ballerinas represent femininity more broadly, with the video acting as a parable of the pressures on women to betray themselves in their rise to the top.

“The betrayal that is done to your career will live in the heart forever,” Lanska says. Here, Lanska focuses on a particular aspect of society that she finds problematic and offers critical insight into how many long-standing cultural customs actually run counter to core humanitarian values.

The top note of the video is one of serenity, with strains of soulful melancholy simmering below. Lanska cinematically captures the arms and hands of the close-up dancing duo in synchronic motion, providing moments of near-abstraction that serve as a meditative perspective on the dynamism of coexistence. One dancer is stabbed in the chest by the other with a metaphorically charged whip. The viewer, however, does not experience this as a climax, but with a sanguine calm. The video signifies a sense of togetherness as after their competition the dancers enter a healing embrace, the emotions of which are amplified by Lanska’s close-ups of their faces, sharing their expressions in an intimate focus for the viewer .

“Ultimately, they return from a treacherous state of competitive struggle to a harmonious state of love and support,” she explains.

“The existential choice” Photograph by Eva Lanska

Installed in a stable, the royal connotations of a horse resonate with the refined discipline of the dancers. Their well-worn satin tips brush against the stable floor to represent commitment at all costs; the years of training, the personal sacrifices. While the maiden’s posture and embrace are in the foreground, an aged butler appears as a more rearward apparition – like the ghost of past patriarchal social structures, overshadowed by the multifaceted presence of rising female dynamics.

Women’s rights are at the heart of Lanska’s concerns and she has long advocated for a film industry in which a woman’s age, nationality or origin cease to be barriers to a career in film.

The musicality between gesture and dialogue is what attracted Lanska to cinema. She trained at the London Film Academy and the London Institute of Photography, and draws on her life experiences in Paris, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, as well as her education in Moscow. Influenced by classic Italian filmmakers such as Fellini and Antonioni, as well as the expressive virtuosity of the prima ballerinas she saw at the Bolshoi Theater as a child, she works either in black and white or in elegant soft colors, using labor of camera stylized to refer to tradition and continuity.

Lanska’s first short film, Ok momabout domestic violence, won Best Picture at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Short Film Corner at Cannes 2017. Focused on the complex issues facing women internationally, her work finds different ways to intertwine this fundamental priority with related themes such as interfaith marriage. (short film small french fish2020) and transcending stereotypes (documentary The Abraham Accords Change History: Women in the Middle East, 2021). Forbes interviewed her as “one to watch” in 2020 and she received awards or nominations at over thirty film festivals. His next feature film I am not an actressbased on the life of Brigitte Bardot, is signed to NoW Films.

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