Avigail Shklovsky

Starost Ne Radost

Video art, 07:27 min. 2019, Israel

In Western society, old age triggers anxiety and alienation. The fear of death does not allow us to see it as part of life. In ancient or neo-pagan communities, every passage in a woman’s life is marked by a ritual: birth ritual, puberty ritual for girls who start menstruating, and finally a ritual for women who has stopped menstruating – the woman becomes a teacher, and the ritual marks the transition to a time of wisdom and visions.

In her work, Shklovsky decided to create and document such a rite of passage. She created the ritual for her grandmother and her friends, as part of a shared process of conversations and sessions, and inspired by women’s rituals in different cultures in Israel and around the world. In this ritual, the women shed their old identity, give up the need to act in order to leave a mark on the world, and dedicate themselves to their power and spirit. Taking on the identity of the “bird-woman,” they spread their wings so they can observe life from a broader perspective.