Tirtzah Bassel has that magic; that skill that is impossible to explain except by calling it ‘Art’; to make stains of color- colored duct tape, in her recent work – convey a living moment, a mood, a compelling set of circumstances, a frozen story. She studies human situations – often of people waiting – in a border crossing, at Ikea, a supermarket, in a waiting room… and the mood is palpable, somewhat removed, somewhat melancholic.
Tirtzah joins us for a conversation on the eve of the opening of her new show at the BRIC. We talk about her biography, the eldest daughter of an orthodox family, which elicit many question about her Jewish identity: How are you being a Jew? How are you being an Israeli? But the eloquent and earnest Tirtzah hesitates to define herself on these terms. She prefers to talk about Orthodoxy in more general terms, whether in religion or in art. At last, she tells us about her friendship with a former roommate, a young Vietnamese woman whose father survived for nine years in a Northern Vietnamese concentration camp. And now we get it. It’s not all about us, Jews, it not always about us, we don’t necessarily have to be Jews in every connection. Tirtza is an artist, a human. She also has an interesting biography related to the Jewish tribe, which may, or may not, inform her artwork in some way.