Tauber can be as poignantly eccentric as German performance jester John Bock, and as profound as Joseph Beuys.
— Emma Gray, ArtReview Magazine
Joel Tauber (born in 1972; Boston, Massachusetts, USA) comes from a long line of rabbis, including the Gaon Rabbi Yehuda Assad (1796-1866) of Hungary. Joel spent 12 years studying Jewish philosophy and religion in Hebrew and ancient Aramaic at the Maimonides School in Boston, where he was valedictorian. Afterwards, Joel went to Yale (Connecticut) to prepare to become a doctor, but changed course when he took a sculpture class with the critic, art historian, and conceptual artist Ronald Jones; who told him about how art has the potential to generate discourse and facilitate change. These conversations with Ron, as well as with his other artistic mentors – including Mike Kelley and Stephen Prina at ArtCenter College of Design (California), where he went to graduate school; and his readings of Jewish mystics like Rabbi Yehuda Assad who talked about the Kabbalistic mandate of Tikkun Olam (doing whatever we can to repair the world); have led Joel on a series of art projects that take a multitude of forms – including video installations, films, written stories, photographs, and public art – and that spark discourse about ethics, environmentalism, and mysticism.
Tauber’s work has been shown in solo art exhibitions at a number of locations, including Galerie Adamski in Berlin as well as Aachen, Germany; the University Art Museum at California State University Long Beach; the Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Southern California; the Rocky Mountain School of Photography (Montana); the Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University (North Carolina); and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (California). He has been included in numerous group art exhibitions including the 2004 and 2008 California Biennials at the Orange County Museum of Art; “The Gravity in Art” at the De Appel Centre For Contemporary Art in Amsterdam (Netherlands); “Cluster Balloons: From Lawn Chairs to Cosmic Rays” at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque (New Mexico); and “Still Things Fall From the Sky” at the California Museum of Photography. Film Festivals include the Atlanta Film Festival (Georgia), the Sedona International Film Festival (Arizona), the San Francisco Documentary Festival (California), and the Downtown Film Festival – Los Angeles, where his movie, “Sick-Amour”, was awarded “Best Green Film.” Tauber won the 2007 Contemporary Collectors of Orange County Fellowship (California), the 2007-2008 CalArts / Alpert Ucross Residency Prize for Visual Arts (USA), and a 2015 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts in conjunction with a residency from The Grand Central Art Center (California). His project “Sick-Amour” was shortlisted for a 2011 International Green Award (England). Tauber’s work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including National Public Radio (USA), KCRW Radio (California), WFDD Radio (North Carolina), Deutsche Welle / Deutschlandfunk radio (Germany), NBC local news (Los Angeles), the Ovation Network (USA), Swedish Television, ArtReview Magazine (England), The Design Magazine (Los Angeles), ArtWeek, artUS Magazine, The Pasadena Star News (California), and The Los Angeles Times.
Joel Tauber is an associate professor at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), where he teaches filmmaking and video art.