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Lehavdil: Besamim: Herbal Encounters (EN/PL)

30.06.2023 - 17:00 / ul. Sebastiana 32

Enter the spice box. Smell the aromatic plants; taste, touch and absorb them. Let them ground you into the body and activate memory in the mind. Journey through expanded senses, before you return to the mundane world with their presence. 

Shelley Etkin is a transdisciplinary artist, educator and gardener based in Berlin, with roots in the U.S./Turtle Island and Israel/Palestine. She works at the intersections of art and ecology, engaging with relations between bodies and lands through place-based knowledges, integrating practices from dance/somatics, herbal medicines, pedagogy, and community organising. Shelley stewards the ‘Garden as Studio’ platform for artistic research at Ponderosa, an arts centre in Brandenburg Germany, and co-facilitates the ‘Social Body Apothecary’ with Siegmar Zacharias and Kitti Zsiga, among other long-term collaborations including with Jared Gradinger, Angela Schubot, and Aune Kallinen. Shelley is a guest lecturer at the International Campus of Humboldt University Berlin and the Theater Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. She holds an M.A. in Ecology and Contemporary Performance (Finland), B.A. in Gender Studies (USA), a Permaculture Design Certificate from Earth Activist Training (USA) and is a student of homeopathy (UK). For Shelley, participating in this Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow is an ancestral reckoning. As a Jew of Eastern European descent, it raises questions of how to be guided by listening to plants and land in decolonising my relationships to cultural heritage without that being distorted into nationalism. Might regenerating senses of belonging and right relationships to place move us all further into integrity beyond binary power dynamics? 

Fot. Ilya Noe


It is after sunset. Three stars have appeared in the sky. A transition takes place. The time devoted to resting is slipping away, the time of the week about to begin. This is a moment of in-between-ness.

In Judaism, the ritual that marks this moment is Havdalah. It reflects the act of differentiation between the profane and the holy, the everyday and the transcendental. As so many rituals, it is performed according to a sequence of prescribed rules and instructions. Only when they have been carried out, is the transition considered complete. But what if we lingered in that liminality?

“Lehavdíl” (להבדיל), which means “to distinguish” or “to separate”, explores Havdalah as a generative act that opens up a transitory space for experience. Between June 28th and July 2nd, three international artists reinterpret the ritual through a series of performative, multi-sensory, intimate, affective and tactile art projects.

curators: Lianne Mol & Yael Sherill, Curatorial Collective for Public Art

The Curatorial Collective for Public Art (CCPA) is an independent agency for the conceptualisation, production, mediation and representation of public art based in Berlin, Germany. It develops curatorial formats for site-specific, transdisciplinary, critical and urban art. CCPA understand the “public” in the term public art as the medium and material of its practice. As an initiative without a fixed space, it often works in the urban space; however, its practice extends into the public sphere, as well as the public in the sense of audience. Due its nomadic character, the collective is not tied to an exhibition space, and continues to conceptualise context-specific formats for its projects, which elude the traditional understanding of curating. After “Kumzits” in 2021 and “Maiseh” in 2022, which were created in collaboration with Jerusalem-based art organisation HaMiffal, “Lehavdíl” is the third project that CCPA is involved in curating for the Jewish Culture Festival.