Bath (2021) Curator: Nogah Davidson
The exhibition Bath simulates a fictitious archeological site, a bathhouse comprised of a collection of findings from local ancient history, all connected to body culture. The simulated bathhouse brings together findings from different cultures and periods (Hellenistic, Sumerian and Egyptian), combines them, and transforms them into a new, contemporary narrative.
Anushik’s bathhouse, a living and breathing archaeological site, was constructed in the context of the current period of increased awareness of social justice and identity politics (woke). It serves as a transformative environment, transporting its visitors back in time to the sauna, tea, and oils of the ancient Levant. Roman bathhouses were used for a range of activities: bathing, cosmetic treatments, bodily pleasures, and social gatherings. They served as cultural centers for social interaction, sharing ideas, and conducting business. Numerous political decisions were made in these centers, which were for men only. The sculptural environment created by Anushik is replete with the societal and political symbolism of our own times: use of the female body alongside symbols of authority, nationalism, and political control. Anushik reverses the power relations, exhibiting plaster reliefs of men, youths, and sleeping children on the walls of the bathhouse, while active women have exclusive control of the performance stage, rising to the stage with powerful performances of word and body.
The exhibition seeks to examine alternative modes of communication, as well as new power relations, which are not based on control, power, and gender.
In the face of today’s social distancing restrictions, which have intensified the need for direct contact, sharing, and touch, Anushik’s bathhouse provides a platform for discussion and intimate poetry and dance performances. At Anushik’s Bath, we are invited to transform the existing world order through ancient knowledge and sisterhood.