Interview: Uri Noy Meir
Luca Curci talks with Uri Noy Meir during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2020 at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi and at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Uri Noy Meir seeks to evoke the power of the arts and imagination in activating the collective intelligence and creativity in people and organizations for awareness-based system change. He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Latin American studies. Born in northern Israeli, near the sea of Galilee, he now lives in central Italy, near the shores of Lake Trasimeno. Uri has trained with the world’s leading social artists and trainers – he himself is an international trainer utilizing both Theatre of the Oppressed, Dragon Dreaming and Social Presencing Theatre, to empower communities and individuals and to facilitate transformative processes in diverse settings and contexts. He believes social arts can support the wellbeing of people, communities, and the world. Uri is an associate artist and community developer of ImaginAction where he dedicates his energy to bring the transformative power of the arts to turn “wounds” into “blessings”, and “what is” to “what if”. As part of the global practitioners’ networks of Dragon Dreaming, a holistic method for the implementation of creative, collaborative, sustainable projects. He is accompanying inspirational projects and community leaders worldwide. As an Advanced Practitioner of Social Presencing Theatre and part of the Social Field Research ecosystem he is sensing and iterating new pathways in social arts as awareness-based system change.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Uri Noy Meir – Art for me is a tool of consciousness with which to seek beauty, truth and justice. As artists, we connect to the web of life to make visible the invisible and give voice to the voiceless. Art, for me, is, first of all, a process of being rather than making. It is a conscious choice to dedicate your life to life and its continuity.
LC – What are you currently working on?
UNM – My “day job” is to place tools from the social arts and participatory design methods I learnt in the service of social innovation in my home region of central Italy. I work with migrants, refugees and Italians, to envision and enact a more sustainable future for all. Through my art, I am working to “heal” the story I was born into and continue to evolve my “language” as an artist and social artist. I wish to find a way to make the type of social sculptures and artworks I am engaged with more visible and recognised.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
UNM – I see nature as a great teacher that keeps inspiring and supporting me in my path. Another greater teacher of mine is my six-year-old daughter. The way she joyfully explores and interacts with life and nature is for me great inspiration and teachings.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
UNM – Change is a constant reality for all of us. I have found that although the intention behind my work is the same it keeps changing in the form, so to respond to the time and place it finds itself in. I am still developing several projects at the same time, I am also learning to search and find help in how to realise the vision and present the work.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
UNM – I find nature and body to be incredible channels for wisdom and beauty to emerge. I believe that the greatest theme of our time is that of reconnecting mind with body, humanity with nature.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?
UNM – I found the term THE BODY LANGUAGE to be very resonating with the type of work I am engaged with. It inspired me to submit and complete a work of art that was sitting on “the shelf” for a long time. I feel that there is still much more to explore with this theme.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
UNM – The message of the work is that our bodies are vessels of memory and story. They are the parts of us which experience the world directly. They carry our trauma and they could also be the place we release and transform it into energy. The energy we need to envision and enact a new beginning.