Jason Danino Holt is bringing all the fun we need

Jason Morris Danino Holt is one of its kind! One could say he is a multidisciplinary artist; a playwright, theatre and documentary director, a performer, a translator, a poet, a television presenter and a cultural entrepreneur. Above all, he is 34 years old, queer, very single, constantly busy, slightly obsessive, and generally quite a nice person.

In 2016, he received the Rozenblum Prize for Best Young Artist and according to the jury’s remarks: “Jason Danino Holt is a young, ambitious and extraordinary artist who has forged a surprising and fascinating journey from television fame to the emergence of a committed artist with a unique, provocative and subversive voice. “

credits: Zohar Shitrit

If you Google his name you will find a lot of interesting stuff about him. So we did. And this is just a selection of the remarks about him:

“Jason Danino Holt writes and directs most of his works, through which he seeks to stretch the boundaries of theatre and create an alternate theatrical-poetic world, which offers the audience a new inclusive and stirring viewing experience.”

“Danino Holt deals in extreme scenarios, which threaten and imperil the supposedly placid and comfortable life of his characters. He uses art to examine, challenge and struggle against that life. Danino Holt’s unique style is based on a dense aesthetic, which produces a wildly carnivalesque result – at once attractive and repulsive, superficial and philosophical, pleasurable and disquieting. Building upon the principles of post-dramatic and performance theatre, Danino Holt creates a visual and auditory experience of shifting images and situations featuring broken and fragmented narratives and characters, often occurring simultaneously and overloading the senses. The viewers are required to actively search for the performance’s organizing principles and its relevance to their own world. Jason Danino Holt’s semi-cinematic direction is based on the creation of a constant dissonance between the work’s various composite parts, while engaging in a brave dialogue with his personal biography and incorporating fragments of local and global culture with which he is acutely familiar, thanks to his extensive knowledge in theatre, music, dance and literature – classical and contemporary alike.”

“In his works Danino Holt seeks to challenge contemporary society, with its culture of exhibitionism, branding and empty role models, that cannot ultimately dispel alienation, loneliness and violence. For these reasons the jury has elected to present Jason Danino Holt with the 2016 Rosenblum Prize for Promising Young Artist.”

“Jason Danino Holt is a young, ambitious and extraordinary artist who has forged a surprising and fascinating path from television stardom to his emergence as a committed artist who possesses a unique, provocative and subversive voice.” “Jason Danino Holt writes and directs most of his works, through which he seeks to stretch the boundaries of theatre and create an alternate theatrical-poetic world, which offers the audience a new inclusive and stirring viewing experience.” “Danino Holt deals in extreme scenarios, which threaten and imperil the supposedly placid and comfortable life of his characters. He uses art to examine, challenge and struggle against that life. Danino Holt’s unique style is based on a dense aesthetic, which produces a wildly carnivalesque result – at once attractive and repulsive, superficial and philosophical, pleasurable and disquieting. Building upon the principles of post-dramatic and performance theatre, Danino Holt creates a visual and auditory experience of shifting images and situations featuring broken and fragmented narratives and characters, often occurring simultaneously and overloading the senses. The viewers are required to actively search for the performance’s organizing principles and its relevance to their own world. Jason Danino Holt’s semi-cinematic direction is based on the creation of a constant dissonance between the work’s various composite parts, while engaging in a brave dialogue with his personal biography and incorporating fragments of local and global culture with which he is acutely familiar, thanks to his extensive knowledge in theatre, music, dance and literature – classical and contemporary alike.” “In his works Danino Holt seeks to challenge contemporary society, with its culture of exhibitionism, branding and empty role models, that cannot ultimately dispel alienation, loneliness and violence. For these reasons the jury has elected to present Jason Danino Holt with the 2016 Rosenblum Prize for Promising Young Artist.”

Who is Jason Morris Danino Holt and how do you identify?

I’m a multidisciplinary artist based in TLV. 34 years old, queer, very single, constantly busy, slightly obsessive, and generally quite a nice person. I try to go to the beach every morning for a dip. I try to go to bed before 22:00. I don’t cook, I smoke cigarettes and I prefer summer over any kind of winter – I like sweaty bodies… 

What is your relationship with art and how did it start?

I came from a super artsy household. Two bohemian parents that encouraged my passions since I was a child. They took me to Ballet classes when I was eight, my dad and I drew together throughout my childhood, and as a young teen I had a little moment as a trumpet player. At the age of fourteen I moved to an arts oriented high-school and majored in theatre, which remained my main medium for the following years. After acting school as an adult I started writing and directing indie theatre works which evolved to become more and more interdisciplinary. Nowadays my project vary between performance and visual art, text and video, commerce and 

What is art for you and how do you like to contribute to it?

I see myself as a storyteller. Someone with a story, a biography and a point of view and my life’s work is trying, through art, to liquefy the rocks that block my veins and turn them into a flash of light for the public. I want to use myself – my traumas and my joys for people to feel seen, inspired, laugh and think. I want to create temporary communities sharing a mutual artistic adventure 

How do you use Instagram as a medium to show and promote your work?

My work as a visual artist, drawing and such, is new. When I started MFA studies I bought myself an Ipad and started fooling around with it. I never drew or made objects, and IG was a very significant tool to motivate me. It was a playful way to just throw new materials to the unknown and see what happens with it. And here we are, doing this interview thanks to it 🙂 

How do you like to engage with the viewers?

I want to hear your stories, I want our lives to meet, and I want to create shared experiences. That’s why ill never let go of live shows… Since I’m quite a lonely person in real life through art and social media i find constant connections and they’re always on a very personal and meaningful note. 

How would you describe yourself and your work?

I change a lot from project to project. I constantly move and shift mediums and styles its my only way not to bore myself and feel like I’m a faded cliché of constant repetition. Each project is built on the burned remains of the previous one, and each new exploration becomes an obsession.I always try to do something i haven’t yet done before, to be new. I try and take the fluid essence of queerness and learn from it how to shift mediums, and artistic states of mind. 

Tell us about the Rozenblum prize you won in 2016.

We don’t have a lot of prices here in Israel so it was cute and meaningful to receive recognition as a promising artist  way back in 2016.  They wrote nice things about me and my work, made me feel seen… and isn’t that what we all long for, being seen? 

How is life for a queer person in Israel?

Tel Aviv and the rest of Israel are very different. Living here is dissociative in that sense. Tel Aviv is hyper liberal, very LGBTQ woke and free. But the people that are running our country are mostly from the extreme right, and times are getting darker… I’m often pessimistic when it comes to the future of Israel and all its citizens. Equality here is a dangerous illusion.

 Do you like to be provocative and explicit?

I never try to deliberately provoke. Last week a young lady came to see my exhibition and she was quite drunk and she asked me, in a very aggressive way, about the huge amount of dick in my works. I told her that for me it’s like painting flowers, still life of nature, nothing explicit or pornographic about it – and I truly believe it. Sexuality and body is my nature, I see it and talk about and represent it. Thats it. 

How has the tumblr era inspired you?

I completely wasn’t part of it… missed all the fun.

How do you want to show the male body through your work?

Interesting question, never really thought about it. I draw and collage in different techniques and maybe the outcome of it is many sorts of male bodies… something more fluid. Stretching a bit the old definition and standards of beauty.  I see the male body as a temple of glory and as a den of filth and neglect. I’m assuming i’ll be obsessed about it for the rest of my life… 

What are the areas you like to challenge?

I want people to spend time with me. For that to happen i need to create work that makes you stop for a seconde, that lingers you into it. I like to challenge the perception of time that’s for sure. And i think that my line of work that plays with the master painters of fineart want ot challenged to old achool art world, to queer it up, to touch the untouchable shamlessly. 

What shall we expect from you in the future?

There’s my new artist book I’ve just published, which is a huge deal for me! 350 pages that really give the intensity and the amount of work I produced the past year… 

My next big project is a book, a real proper novel… its coming out this fall in Hebrew and I REALY REALY REALY hope it will get picked up and translated to more languages. 

The book is a queer coming of age story – dark and poetic. I’m very nervous towards its publication, its by far the most challenging project i ever created. 

https://www.instagram.com/daninoholt/

https://www.facebook.com/jasedaninoholt

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