Elana Katz and Lisa Stertz
AUF MEIN SHEITEL is a collaborative 2-part set of performances that examine the intersection of the languages German and Yiddish, and associated cultural/ religious customs. Yiddish, the Jewish language of Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe, is a linguistic mixture of German and Hebrew (with select Slavic influences), and orally bares a marked resemblance to German. Jewish-American artist Elana Katz and German artist Lisa Stertz work together in related performances that attempt to access, explore, and comment upon the parallels and discrepancies between these two languages and an associated cultural practice, both from a distinctly outsider perspective. The “sheitel” (the Yiddish word for the wig that a religious Jewish woman wears from the time of marriage), and “scheitel”, (the German word for the part in one’s hair or the crown of one’s head) is the foundational starting point for this performative critical dialogue.