Activist. Artist. Filmmaker. Joel Tauber sparks discourse and facilitates change via direct actions and interventions, video installations, films, photographs, public art, podcasts, and written stories.
“Tauber can be as poignantly eccentric as German performance jester John Bock, and as profound as Joseph Beuys.” – Emma Gray, ArtReview Magazine
Joel Tauber (he/him; born in 1972; Boston, MA, USA) comes from a long line of rabbis, including the Gaon Rabbi Yehuda Aszód (1796-1866) of Hungary. Tauber spent 12 years studying Jewish philosophy and religion in Hebrew and ancient Aramaic at the Maimonides School (Boston, MA, USA), where he was valedictorian. Afterwards, Tauber went to Yale University (New Haven, CT, USA) 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 showed him the potential that art has to generate discourse and facilitate change. These conversations with Ron, as well as with his other artistic mentors — including Mike Kelley, Stephen Prina, Hirsch Perlman, and Patti Podesta at ArtCenter College of Design (Pasadena, CA, USA), where he went to graduate school — and his readings of Jewish mystics like Rabbi Yehuda Aszód who talked about the Kabbalistic mandate of Tikkun Olam (doing whatever we can to repair the world); have led Tauber on a series of art, film, and activist projects, including: Border-Ball: A 40-Day Pilgrimage Along The U.S.-Mexico Border, BELT: A 2-Man Memoir, UNDERWATER: An Operatic Disco, The Sharing Project, Pumping, Sick-Amour, Searching for The Impossible: The Flying Project, and Seven Attempts To Make A Ritual.
Tauber’s work has been shown in solo art exhibitions at a variety of locations, including the Adamski Gallery (Berlin as well as Aachen, Germany), the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at ArtCenter College of Design (Pasadena, CA, USA), KOENIG2 by_robbygreif (Vienna, Austria), the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum at California State University Long Beach (Long Beach, CA, USA), the Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA, USA), the Rocky Mountain School of Photography (Missoula, MT, USA), the Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University (Boone, NC, USA), the Aiken County Historical Museum (Aiken, SC, USA), and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (Los Angeles, CA, USA). He has been included in numerous group art exhibitions, including the 2004 and 2008 California Biennials at the Orange County Museum of Art (Santa Ana, CA, USA); “The Gravity in Art” at the De Appel Centre For Contemporary Art (Amsterdam, Netherlands); and “sharity – teilen, tauschen, verzichten” at the Kunst(Zeug)Haus (Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland). Awards include: “Best Inspirational Film” at the 2021 Nawada International Film Festival (Nawada, India) and “Best Social Justice Film” at the 2021 Santhal Pargana International Film Festival (Deoghar, India) for Border-Ball; “Best Experimental Film” at the 2021 Chauri Chaura International Film Festival (Gorakhpur, India) and “Best International Documentary Film” at the 2019 Vintage International Film Festival (Kolhapur, India) for The Sharing Project; and “Best Documentary Film” at the 2019 Ahmednagar International Short Film Festival (Ahmednagar, India) and “Best Green Film” at the 2010 DTLA Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA, USA) for Sick-Amour. Tauber’s work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including National Public Radio (USA), KCRW Radio (Los Angeles, CA, USA), WFDD Radio (Winston-Salem, NC, USA), Deutsche Welle / Deutschlandfunk radio (Germany), ORF Radio: Ö1 (Austria), NBC local news Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA, USA), NBC local news San Diego (San Diego, CA, USA), the Ovation Network (USA), Swedish Television, ArtReview Magazine, artUS Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.
Joel Tauber (M.F.A., ArtCenter College of Design; M.Ed., Lesley University; BA, Yale University) is an Associate Professor of Art and Hoak Family Faculty Fellow at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC, USA).