Tobaron Waxman

Curator and Visual Artist
Appointment Dates:
(Aug 19, 2015 – Jun 19, 2016)
Research Project:
The Diary of Ponim71

THE DIARY OF PONIM71 will be a live performance incorporating voice, movement and film, derived from the archived materials and documentation of the years I lived in USA, while transitioning FTM and stealth, embedded in Orthodox and Chassidic Jewish communities, in post 9/11 New York.
While in residency at BBRG, I will process my archive of field work, in order to begin production on a scholarly text and libretto for the feature length performance DIARY OF PONIM71.
In the post- 9/11 era, we have seen increase in nationalistic tendencies, including those designed to absorb unaffiliated male youth, as well as an erosion of human rights, such as the right to travel, in favor of a framework of legal rights based on notions of citizenship, and the hyper accelerated Islamophobia in New York is a well documented symptom.  The main focus of DIARY OF PONIM71 will be to elaborate on the role that gender plays in policing and maintaining borders, and how the state determines the perimeter and parameters of a body. This project has been made possible by funding from the Ontario Arts Council.


Tobaron Waxman is a curator and visual artist who sings. Tobaron composes performances for photograph, video and site specific installation, and is a trained vocalist in Jewish liturgical music.

Tobaron has been exhibited at such venues as Palais de Tokio, Videotage Hong Kong, Kunsthalle Vienna, Kampnagel Hamburg, CEPA Buffalo, New Museum NYC, and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.  Tobaron has taught live art, collaboration and vocal techniques at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of the Art Institute Chicago and at the Hollins MFA Dance Program, and has lectured at Parsons, SOAS University of London, Goldsmiths, Concordia University, OCADU, SMFA Boston, UC Irvine and others. In 2010 Tobaron was honoured with the first ever Audience Award of the Jewish Museum of New York for the 8-hour endurance performance Opshernish.
Tobaron’s work has been featured in periodicals such as Missy Magazine (Germany), C Magazine (Canada), Canadian Dimension and others. Tobaron’s works have been referenced by scholars in academic publications including articles such as:
•  “Voice, Performance, and Border Crossings: Tobaron Waxman interviewed by Dominic Johnson in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 1.4, the special issue "Trans* Cultural     Production"  edited by Julian Carter, Trish Salah, and David Getsy. Duke University Press, 2015
• Wandering Scholars: Bodily Gestures and the Academic Paradigm, edited by Dr. Katrien Jacobs, Chinese University Hong Kong, 2014
• Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context” by Carol Zemel, edited by Edna Nashon. Brill Publishing, Boston, 2011
• Shimmering: Towards a Trans-Erotic Film Aesthetic the PhD dissertation of Eliza Steinbock, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, 2011.
• “Performing Masculinity” by Steven Bottoms and Diane Torr, University of Michigan Press, 2008.
• “The Ambiguous I: Photography, Gender, Self”  the PhD dissertation of Jordy Jones, University of California, Irvine, Spring 2008.
Tobaron is a grateful recipient of fellowships from Smack Mellon, Van Leir, Kulturlabor ICI Berlin, and grants from Franklin Furnace, Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils. Tobaron was Fellow at the Akademie der Künst der Welt/Köln 2014, Resident at La Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris in 2015, and Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley 2015-2016. In addition, Tobaron is a Research Collaborator of the Canadian Consortium for Performance and Politics in the Americas. In 2013, Tobaron Waxman founded the world's first Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency as a combined curatorial, relational/live art, and sociopolitical praxis.