Dr. Diego Rotman

A researcher, an interdisciplinary artist and a curator

Theatre Studies Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem. Curator at Mamuta Art and Research Center.

Born in Buenos Aires and receiving a full Hebrew school education there, I completed my academic studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After a first and second degree in Yiddish Studies and in Jewish and Comparative Folklore (2005), I completed my Master’s thesis, Yiddish Theater in the State of Israel (1948-2003), under the supervision of Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem and Prof. Yechiel Sheintuch. In 2013 I completed my Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem and Prof. Yechiel Scheintuch my dissertation “Performance as Cultural Critique: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927-1980)”.  Both my M.A. thesis and doctoral dissertation relate to the critical role of art in society in relation to Jewish identity, Zionism and language politics in Israel. My work draws out the dialogical relationship between modern Hebrew culture and Yiddish culture as reflected in the discourse on Yiddish theater and drama in the State of Israel between 1948 and 2003, and specifically in the political satire of the two most important Yiddish comedians Shimen Dzigan (1950-1980) and Isroel Shumacher (1908- 1961). My book, The Stage as a Temporary Home: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927- 1980), based on my doctoral dissertation, was published in December 2017 by Magnes University Press.

I was fortunate to receive a postdoctoral fellowship at “Da’at Hamakom: Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World” at the Hebrew University and supported by the I-CORE Program. My postdoctoral project explored the connections between contemporary art, Israeli art museology and Israeli history, topography and territorial politics. My project elaborated the relationship of the concepts of the ephemeral and the eternal in the context of the cultural and political tensions that dominate the local politically-charged landscape and topography in Israel

In addition to my academic work, I am also an artist and curator. The curatorial practice that I have developed over the past fifteen years in Jerusalem explores notions of home, identity, and territory in the charged landscape and topography of Israel/Palestine. These themes have been present in my work, ranging from group exhibitions that I curated to commissioned works. My curatorial practices were developed in the frame of a collective of artists co-founded in 2001 together with Lea Mauas. Since its creation the collective has curated more than 40 exhibitions, published and edited the Hearat Shualym Art Journal (2001-2007), published numerous catalogues and books and established the Mamuta Art and Research Center in 2009. The Mamuta Center offers artists and academic the opportunity to engaged in collaborative projects.

Selected Publications

Books

  • The Ethnographic Department of the Museum of the Contemporary: On Jewish Folklore, Ethnography and Contemporary Art, 2017, 250 pages. Mamuta Art and Research Center: Jerusalem. Edited by Diego Rotman and Lea Mauas. In Hebrew.
  • Heara – Independent Art in Jerusalem at the Beginning of the 21st Century, 2014, 350 pages. Hearat Shualym: Jerusalem. Edited by Ronen Eidelman, Diego Rotman and Lea Mauas. [English and Hebrew].
  • *Heara – Independent Art in Jerusalem at the Beginning of the 21st Century, edited by Ronen Eidelman, Lea Mauas and Diego Rotman (Hearat Shualym/The Underground Academy: Jerusalem, 2014)

Articles

  • 2017, Diego Rotman, On the architecture of the ephemeral: The Eternal Sukkah of the Jahalin tribe, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 16:3, 498-514.Dorit Yerushalmi and Shimon Levy (Tel Aviv: 2009), 179-197
  • 2017, Diego Rotman and Lea Mauas (Sala-manca Group), The Eternal Sukkah (Visual Monography), Die Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften, edited by Sonja Hnilica, Elisabeth Timm, 135-140.
  • 2016, Diego Rotman, “The ‘Tsadik from Plonsk’ and ‘Goldenyu’: Political Satire in Dzigan and Shumacher’s Israeli Comic Repertoire”, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol. XXIX., edited by Gabriel N. Finder and Eli Lederhendler, Oxford University Press, 154-170.
  • 2008, Diego Rotman, “The Yiddishpil Theater between Revival and Freezing the Past”, Yerushalaymer almanakh 28, 323-345. In Yiddish.
  • 2007, Diego Rotman, “Yiddish Theater in Israel 1948-1988”, Zmanim – rivon lehistoria 99, 38-45. In Hebrew.

Chapters in collections

  • Diego Rotman, “Towards the Slow Movement”, in Bridges of Knowledge: Campus-Community Partnership in Israel, edited by Yona Rozenfeld, Daphna Golan and Zvika Or. Tel Aviv: Mofet, 2017, 407-436. In Hebrew
  • Diego Rotman, “The Museum and the Desert: On the ‘Eternal Sukkah’ and the Bawadi enterprise” in The Ethnogrpahic Department of the Museum of the Contemporary, edited by Diego Rotman and Lea Mauas, MOFC: Jerusalem, 179-197. In Hebrew.
  • Diego Rotman, “The Dybbuk is not Moyshe Sne: About the Satirical Parody ‘The New Dybbuk (1957)’”, in Please don’t Chase Me Away: New Studies on the Dybbuk, edited by Dorit Yerushalmi and Shimon Levy. Tel Aviv University & Safra: Tel Aviv, 2009, 179-197. In Hebrew.

 

Forthcoming

  • Diego Rotman, “My Homeland, Der Dybbuk: About Possession and Nationalism in the Old-New Film Der Dybbuk (1937-2017)”, in Yiddish in the New Millenium, edited by Rebecca Margolis (forthcoming 2019).
  • Diego Rotman, “The Fragile Boundaries of Paradise – On The Paradise Inn Resort Art Project at the Former Jerusalem Leprosarium”, Borderlines, edited by Edwin Seroussi & Ruthie Abeliovich, De Gruytter Press (forthcoming 2018).
  • Diego Rotman, “The Academic Discourse as a Secondary Character in Contemporary Art Works”, in Liminal Trajectories. Book in Honor to Elina Matoso, edited by Patricia Aschieri (forthcoming 2018). In Spanish.
  • Diego Rotman, “Performing Homeland in Post-Vernacular Times: Dzigan and Shumacher’s Yiddish Theater After the Holocaust”, in Wahlheimat and Elective Exile, edited by Asher Biemann, Richard Cohen and Sarah Wobick (forthcoming 2019

 

Fellowships and Prizes (selected)

  • Prize of the Minister of Culture for Visual Artists (together with Lea Mauas) (2017)

Nominated for the Visible Award for the Eternal Sukkah Project (2015), Prize for an outstanding PhD, by Nevzlin Fund (2014); Dean’s Fellowship for Distinguished PhD candidates (2007-2011); Itzik and Genye Manger Fund Fellowship; Academy-Comunity Parntership Fellowship (2007-2009) for the Academic course “Art and Activism” at Bezalel Academiy of Art; Dean’s Fellowship for Distinguished M.A. Students (2006); Prize for an outstanding M.A.Thesis by the Nevzlin Fund (2006); Prize for an outstanding M.A.Thesis by Beit Shalom Aleichem (2005)