Beginning in September 2020, the Jewish Museum Berlin will be showing an expansive presentation of works by the video artist Yael Bartana. Bartana explores the visual languages of identity and commemorative politics. Her artistic motifs include public rituals, ceremonies, and social practices intended to strengthen collective identities. A frequent point of reference is the national consciousness of Israel, her birthplace. The blurred lines between reality and fiction and questions of “what if” are recurring themes across her oeuvre.
Alongside some of her early and more recent work, the exhibition will introduce a new video installation that Bartana has conceived exclusively for the show and produced in Berlin. The piece challenges political expectations of salvation or collective redemption. Once again, Bartana will artistically enact alternative realities that offer viewers new perspectives. Bartana draws on the German-Jewish experience, past and present, and unearths scenes from the collective unconscious.
Between 2006 and 2011, Yael Bartana worked in Poland, where she produced the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned, which is about an imaginary movement of Jews returning to Poland, inspired by the Zionist project. The trilogy was Poland’s contribution to the 2011 Venice Biennale; The Guardian recently ranked it ninth on the UK newspaper’s list of the best art of the twenty-first century.
Curators: Shelley Harten and Gregor H. Lersch