Wenn Ihr wollt, ist es kein Traum
The works of the Israeli artist and filmmaker Yael Bartana examine widely accepted social rituals and structures and, more specifically, questions regarding the cultural identity and historical construction of her native country and the tensions and conflicts that result. In her distinctive poetic approach, she balances the factual and the fictitious, documentation and propaganda, evoking ironic overtones to undermine certainties, turn symbols on their heads, and open up multiple new meanings. Her film Wild Seeds (2006), for instance, shows young Israeli pacifists reenacting the forcible evacuation of Jewish settlers from the West Bank.
Bartanas’s recent project, the video installation … and Europe will be stunned is the official Polish participation at the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice in 2011. It is the first time for a non-Polish national to represent Poland in the history of the Venice Biennale. Bartana’s three films Mary Koszmary (2007), Mur i wieża (2009) and Zamach (2011) revolve around the activities of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP), a political group that calls for the return of 3,300,000 Jews to the land of their forefathers. The films traverse a landscape scarred by the histories of competing nationalisms and militarisms, overflowing with the narratives of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionist dreams, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the Palestinian right of return. Apart from realising the film trilogy, a new political movement has been established by the artist. In spring 2012, the first official JRMiP Congress will take place in Berlin in association with Berlin Biennale 7.
Yael Bartana, who was born in Kfar Yehezkel (IL) in 1970, lives and works in Tel Aviv (IL) and Amsterdam (NL).
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