Jan 09 2019

Conversation | Bible Trouble: Naming, Disavowal and the Infinite Self with Cyrus Dunham, Aviva Silverman and Abby Stein

Wed | 7PM

 Conversation | Bible Trouble: Naming, Disavowal and the Infinite Self with Abby Stein, Hayley Silverman and Cyrus Dunham



On the occasion of Aviva Silverman’s exhibition, Protect Me from What I Am, Swiss Institute will host a discussion between Cyrus Dunham, Aviva Silverman and Abby Stein on naming as an act of creation and the implications of the bible’s narration of embodiment for gender non-conforming people.

Please RSVP to rsvp@swissinstitute.net. Please note: events at Swiss Institute are limited capacity, and entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Abby Stein is an educator, writer, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and is a descendent of Rabbi Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. Abby attended Yeshiva and became a rabbi in 2011. She left the Hasidic world the following year, and came out as a trans-woman in 2015. Since then, Abby has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy. She is currently a student of gender studies and political science at Columbia University, and her memoir will be published by Seal Press in 2019.

Aviva Silverman’s work in sculpture, performance, photography, and theater is broadly concerned with the technologies of moral and political surveillance and artifacts of narrative and belief.  Her work explores how religious figurations can serve as vessel, observer, and protector simultaneously, which bodies convey which messages, and through what means. Solo exhibitions and performances include Twister at MoMA P.S.1 (2016). Group exhibitions include Greater New York, MoMA P.S.1 New York (2015); It Can Howl, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, Georgia (2016); and I Surrender Dear, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria (2016). Her work has appeared in Artforum, the New Yorker, BBC Radio, Art in America, Flash Art, and Art Papers, among others and her book “Is It Soup Yet?” can be found at Printed Matter / St Marks.She was raised in Reform Judaism in New Jersey, under the rabbinical leadership of Rabbi Elyse Frishman. She competitively swam in the Maccabiah Games, known as the Jewish Olympics, in 2002 and 2004.

Cyrus Dunham is a writer living in Los Angeles, where they work as an advocate for people inside the California Women’s Prison System. Their first book, A Year Without a Name, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in 2019. Cyrus’ mother was raised in reform Judaism and their father was raised in the Congregational Christian Church. Cyrus grew up in New York City, where they casually and sporadically participated in the holidays of the respective Abrahamic religions of their parents’ upbringings.

Related Exhibitions