‘One’ Episode 7: Roommates talk homemaking, remembering and belonging through art

Laurie Gomez YC '22
Millennium, a mixed media painting by Itai Almor

In episode #7 of the Schwarzman Center web series, O​ne, Computing and the Arts double-major Itai Almor YC ‘20 talks with Film & Media Studies major Joshua van Biema YC ’20, his roommate, about his senior thesis—a visual art presentation that explores the creation of personal space. Almor discusses the relationship between objects in intimate spaces, the physical body, and the precariousness of the places people call home.

Almor’s grandmother was a source of inspiration for his senior thesis project. As a hoarder in her adult life, her relationships with objects and space, offered him insight into the concept of homemaking.

Itai explained, “I think of the sort of bedroom space, or personal space, that is full of objects that you have accumulated…as being filled with a layer of meaning only you have access to. Because the objects that are around you contain memories, or even fantasies, or desires, or images of a sort of self you hope to attain…It’s an intimate space like the inside of your own skin.”

When the Yale campus was closed in March due to physical distancing, Almor moved all of his artwork into his and van Biema’s home, effectively converting their home into a live-in gallery. While Almor was disappointed in missing out on the opportunity for a physical exhibition, the experience inspired him to utilize his computing skills and create a website—a virtual gallery—for his and other seniors’ art to coexist.

Reflecting on time and space… always comes back to thinking about the body—how past and future inhabit spaces in our body.
Itai Almor YC '20

Almor’s senior thesis reflected on space and time, as well as its larger implications on living practices. He continued, “Reflecting on time and space… always comes back to thinking about the body—how past and future inhabit spaces in our body.”

Almor shared ways in which he practiced wellness at home, mentioning the importance of intentional movement and “exploring spaces around you.” He said that his artwork taught him how to interact with his body and gave him an appreciation for movement, distance, and moments often taken for granted.

Van Biema, the host of episode #7, is a Film and Media Studies major from Yale College class of 2020. In addition to sharing a house during their time at Yale, Almor and van Biema collaborated on art projects, blending Almor’s visual art with van Biema’s videography.

One, a web series produced by the Schwarzman Center, highlights interdisciplinary approaches to the arts in relation to the Center’s values of collaboration, wellness and belonging. The inaugural season illuminates the creative and academic merits of student works impacted by social distance and explores perspectives on community-building among dispersed groups.  The series title, One, is a nod to the Schwarzman Center’s aspiration to advance a sense of “One Yale” and create an interconnected community that builds new traditions of student engagement around the campus and into the world.

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