Williamsburg Couple Showcasing Their Home as Art Gallery

By Meredith Hoffman on August 23, 2012 1:13pm 

WILLIAMSBURG — For Israeli couple Lital Dotan and Eyal Perry, even getting married was an artistic gesture — they sauntered down a Las Vegas aisle to honor a scene in one of their favorite films.

"It was an homage to Sophie Calle...her film 'Double Blind,'" Dotan said of the movie that ends in a Vegas chapel. "Everything we do is also performance."

Dotan and Perry's new Williamsburg apartment reveals just that — they turn their mattress upright to sew words on it daily; they go inside a closet "confession room" to reflect on a video of Dotan straddling a cactus in the California desert; and they invite guests to rearrange their refrigerator magnets, which form the image of Dotan's nude torso.

Their home, which doubles as a gallery called "The Glasshouse," has been in Tel Aviv, San Francisco — and come September opens to the public on Union Avenue.

"This whole space is part of our art," said Dotan of the two-story apartment, the first floor of which will soon be a storefront gallery with an exhibit reflecting on Occupy Wall Street. "Part of our art is hosting...Art is best experienced when it allows staying."

The couple's upcoming show "Public Safety" will examine police and officials' claim that they needed to preserve public safety by quelling protests in the United States, in Israel and globally, Dotan said.

"It's not a political statement, it's a social observation," she said, noting that their works avoid using words so that viewers can decide the meaning for themselves.

"There aren't specific directions, which I like," Dotan's friend and assistant Lesie Friedman said of the couple's art. "It also makes it more of a home...at a house people kick back, relax."

Dotan, however, keeps rules and a structure for herself, which she has posted on a white board as her "daily routine." The hourly schedule includes yoga, writing on her mattress and sitting in the closet "confession booth."

And even though guests receive no directions at the couple's home, they will soon realize they are part of the performance as well — a living room coffee table reveals live video from surveillance cameras around the apartment.

"That's the center of our house," Dotan said, smiling. 

Starting Sep. 1, the "Glasshouse" will offer an "immersion program" for people to spend one night and to co-create a performance piece and exhibits and performances in the downstairs storefront gallery. The opening party is Sept. 1 on 246 Union Ave.

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