Artist StatemenBioResume

My work in photography, video and installation engages the tension between the construction of reality and its representation as natural and neutral. My artwork intends to critically interrogate how knowledge is constructed, delving into the mechanisms of how we get to know and relate to the world around us. I look for covert displays of ideology as they manifest through social, religious, and political structures and address them in absurd and uncanny interventions and re-stagings. With a background in theater, I often incorporate theatrical means such as story, props, character, and actions to explore the performance of public and private institutions and the intersections between belonging and othering. Ultimately I’m looking for alternative perspectives to view and think about fraught aspects of our existence with the aim of expanding our possibilities of identification.

Willenz earned her MFA from The University of California, Berkeley in 2019, and her BA from the Marc Rich Honors Program in Arts and Humanities at Tel Aviv University, Israel in 2015. Her work has been exhibited at The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley; NIAD Gallery, Richmond; Root Division, San Francisco; PJCC Foster City, Dream Farm Common, Oakland; Nuzha Gallery, Jaffa, Israel; and Almacan Gallery, Jaffa, Israel Gvul gallery, Hanita, Israel; among others. She was a fellow at the Art and Research Center at UC Berkeley, won the Eisner Prize in photography, was an artist-in-residence at Ox-Bow School of the Art, Michigan, and is an Asylum Arts and Lincoln Center Directors’ lab alumni. She has received grants and commissions from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life; Asylum Arts; The California Lieutenant Governor’s office; Jewish Arts Collaborative in Boston Common; Graduate Theology Institution Berkeley, and American Jewish University among others. She lives and works between Israel and the US. She is married with two kids.

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GABRIELLA WILLENZ

EDUCATION
2019 MFA in Art Practice, University of California, Berkeley, CA
2015 B.A,The Marc Rich Honors Program in the Humanities and the Arts, Tel Aviv University, Israel Dean’s Award for outstanding academic performance
2014 Student Exchange Program, University of Potsdam, Germany
2010 New York University TISCH School or the Arts, Certificate in Film Making, New York, NY
EXHIBITIONS
2022 Monuments of Memory, two-person exhibition, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL (upcoming) The Eve & Adam Project, Jewish Arts Collaborative, Boston, MA (upcoming)
The Shmita Year: Release, Renewal and Rest, PJCC, Foster City, CA
Tech Rehearsal, solo exhibition, Border Gallery, Hanita, Israel
2021 Made In Contact, Asylum Arts, online exhibition
Monuments of Memory, two-person exhibition, Dream Farm Commons, Oakland, CA
2020 Family Matters, Root Division, San Fransisco, CA
Hello World, TransCultural Exchange, online exhibition
Thing Theory, solo exhibition, Fine Ideas and Art, Oakland, CA
2019 Souvenirs From Utopia, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley, CA Cutting In Between, solo exhibition, NIAD Art Center Galleries, Richmond, CA
The 49th Annual UC Berkeley MFA Graduate Exhibition, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA
Inauguration Exhibition, California’s Lieutenant Governor’s office, Sacramento, CABay Area MFA video showcase, ATA, San Fransisco, CA
Eisner Award Film Screening, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, CA
2018 Chicago Art Book Fair, Chicago, IL
Eisner Award Film Screening, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, CA
Black Out, group exhibition, Art on 30th, San Diego, CA
FL3TCH3R, group exhibition, Reece Museum, Johnson City, TN
Thresh, group exhibition, Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley, CA
2017 Authority, group exhibition, Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley, CA
Re-Branding, solo exhibition, Almacén Gallery, Jaffa, Israel
2016 Standard Deviation, solo exhibition, Bikurey-Ha’Itim Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2015 Standard Deviation, solo exhibition, Nuzha Art Gallery, Jaffa, Israel
AWARDS, GRANTS, RESIDENCES
2021 Zn collective NY residency, New York, NY (upcoming)
Creative Capital Award finalist
Asylum Arts Project grant recipient, New York, NY
WORD Bruce Geller Memorial Prize, American Jewish University, Los Angeles, CA
Dream Farm Common’s Artist-in-Residence, Oakland, CA
Asylum Arts Collaborative grant recipient, New York, NY
CARe’s research and development grant, The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA
Jewish Arts Collaboration research and development grant, Boston, MA
Zn collective, an Asylum Art’s working group, online
2020 Asylum Arts Artist grant recipient, New York, NY
Open Windows Artist-in-Residence, San-Fransisco, CA
2019 Asylum Arts Bay-Area Residency, Mills Valley, CA
Honorable mention in the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize in Film and Video, University of California, Berkeley, CA
2018 Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency, Saugatuck, MI, Summer Residency Winner of the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize in Photography, University of California, Berkeley, CA Honorable mention in the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize in Film and Video, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Art and Research Centre Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, CA; fellow in collaboration with Professor Asma Kazmi
Recipient of the Art Practice Department Travel Grant, University of California, Berkeley, CARecipient of the Graduate Division Conference Travel Grant, University of California, Berkeley, CA2015 Project completion Grant from Tel Aviv’s Art Department and Wizo Italy for Standard Deviation, Tel- Aviv, Israel
Einav Culture Centre Rehearsal Compound Grant for Being Alexander Pen, Tel-Aviv, Israel Production Completion Grant from Tel-Aviv’s Culture Department for Being Alexander Pen, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2014 ITsInSted Directors’ Lab, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2011 Best Director, Best Play and Best Actress Awards for directing the play Whales, SmallStage Theatre Festival, Tel Aviv University, Israel
InStead-Israel Directors’ Lab Residency, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2009 Lincoln Centre Theatre Directors’ Lab Fellow, NY, NY
Best Production Award for On the Beach, Estrogenius Festival, Manhattan Theatre Source, NY, NY
ARTIST TALKS & PAPERS
2022 The Shmita Year: Release, Renewal and Rest, PJCC, Foster City, CA
The Eve & Adam Project, CARe Gallery, Graduate Theology Union, Berkeley, CA
Made In Contact: Collaboration in times of social distancing, Asylum Arts, NY, NY
2021 The Eve & Adam Project: It Was Not An Apple, Limmud Festival, UK
2020 Family Matters, Root Division, San Fransisco, CA
Old Craft: New Media, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley, CA
Advanced sculpture class, University of California, Davis, CA
2019 NIAD Art Center, Richmond, CA
2018 Ox-Bow School of Art & Artists’ Residency, Saugatuck, MI
Art Practice undergraduate studio, University of California Berkeley, CA
2015 An the Other is Me: shylock on the National stage, Footnote Conference, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
SELECTED THEATRE AND FILM DIRECTING
2015/6 Being Alexander Pen, by Gabriella Willenz, The Cameri Theatre, Tel-Aviv; Einav Culture Center, Tel-Aviv; Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre, Tel Aviv; Jerusalem Theatre, Jerusalem; Beit Mazia Theatre, Jerusalem, Israel
2013 Other Faces, by Gabriella Willenz, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
2012 Profit(a)bottle, documentary, Labia Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa; Broadcasted on Life On Terra and Talenthouse Art Works
2011 Whales, by Eden Oliel, Karov Theatre, Tel-Aviv; SmallStage Festival Tel-Aviv University, Israel Big Love, by Charles Mee, The Word Theatre, Harduf, Israel
The Foster Parent or Iron, documentary, Crossroads Film Festival, Clarksdale, MI
For the First Time (In a Long Time), Tel-Aviv Music Video competition, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Peanut Factory, by Meg Lawson, The Iron Mule Festival, NY, NY
2010 Silence Not, A Love Story, by Cynthia Cooper , Centre Stage Theatre, Jerusalem, Israel; The League of Professional Theatre Women, NY, NY
2009 Big Love, by Charles Mee, Manhattan Theatre Works, NY, NY
Presumptuous, by Paul DiPaola, Ingenius Festival, Manhattan Theatre Source, NY, NY