Look | Premiere: 2018 | Festival Saint Petersburg-Tel Aviv | Haifa Museum of Art & Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv

Look is a performative installation by Idit Herman that is destined to make you cry. It takes place inside a room filled with hundreds of onions. They serve as a reference to the exuberantly decorated, bulb-shaped domes of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, one of the most extraordinary landmarks of the city of Saint Petersburg, dedicated to the memory of tsar Alexander II. Its exuberant decoration is in striking contrast to the inelegant image of the onion: cheap and smelly.

The installation simultaneously functions as a traditional grieving room, where bereaved come together and lament a lost one. As the space is being filled with a pungent smell, performers sit to weep, whine, sob, snivel, cry and comfort each other. They strip the onions layer by layer, let them simmer in a watery soup, and wrap them in shiny gold foil like little memorial domes. The various actions can be interpreted as different stages in the process of mourning.

Look is a tribute to the artist Dmitry Tyulpanov, born in Saint Petersburg. During his life, he took great pride in the fact that, as an honorary graduate of the local school of masonry in the 1980’s, he personally carved the marble inscription under the golden dome of the church during its renovation. Tyulpanov co-founded Clipa with Herman, and his more than 20 years of contributing to the field of visual theater in Israel has resulted in dozens of creations and several prestigious national and international awards. He passed away unexpectedly in 2015.

Creation, artistic direction & design: Idit Herman | Original cast: Rafael Haugas, Gabrielle Neuhaus, Tzvi Peterkovski, Kazuyo Shionoiri, Alexandra Tyulpanov, Oryan Yohanan