Working with video, photography, performance and choreography, Orit Ben-Shitrit utilizes movement and bodies to implicate the powers that be, their mechanisms of domination and the potential for violence.
Pulling from manifold historical and literary sources, Orit addresses the personal and contemplates the national in textured imagery. She engages in three main topical themes: cycles of violence in the Middle East; abstract systems of political, religious and economic control; and conflicted beings trapped in bodies.
In her videos Ben-Shitrit places the individual in the midst of a series of events—rituals, struggles, exorcisms—addressing the complex and covert rules of power. In MEN DIE AND THEY ARE NOT HAPPY (2010) she investigates the relationship between the State and the individual; HALF TAMED BEAST (2010) analyzes the notion of control over natural resources, such as water; the unspoken ties between art and finance is the main subject of VIVE LE CAPITAL (2010-12); while a schizophrenic response to anxiety ridden cognitive capitalism is the central issue in WARD OF THE FERAL HORSES (2013-2015). The most recent of these works sees many of the artist’s concerns and motifs realized through the use of exuberant painterly colors, patterns and layered meanings. It details the collapse of a mind trapped in a modern-day technological apparatus.
Orit has recently shown at MACRO Museo d’arte contemporanea Roma; the Haifa Museum of Art; the Royal College of Art, London; Anna Kustera Gallery and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York; Mana Contemporary, Miami; Videobrasil in São Paulo (2011, 2013); The 3CL, Luxembourg; as well as in Austria, Germany, Finland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and the US and China. Recent commissions include HALF TAMED BEAST by Artis at Zoom contemporary art from the Middle-East in 2010, a performance commission for ISCP, NY in 2012, and a film commission for Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in 2013-2015. Ben-Shitrit is a recent Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space resident, and a 2012 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Film/Video. She received her MFA from Hunter College in 2010 and is based in Brooklyn.