Yael Bartana is an Israeli filmmaker and artist who is based in the Netherlands. Her latest project, …And Europe Will Be Stunned, is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario until April 1, 2012. The trilogy of films took almost five years to complete, and tells the story of the fictional Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. The result is a beautifully realized set of films that deal deftly with the complex dialogues that surround questions about national identity, homeland and what it means to belong. The three parts of the trilogy are called Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), Mur i Wieża (Wall and Tower) and Zamach (Assassination). The films feature architecture and scenography by Oren Sagiv.
The work was first shown at the the 2011 Venice Biennale, where Bartana became the first non-Polish artist to represent Poland at the major international art exhibition.
This is the first time the work has been shown in Canada. To find the films at the AGO, turn right immediately after entering the Gallery through the main entrance. Keep walking straight until you enter the Philip B. Lind Gallery,
“Interweaving past and present, reality and fiction, the conceptual and the emotional, and drawing on propaganda films of the 1930s and ’40s, as well as the visual language of advertising, Bartana’s films boldly traverse a landscape scarred by the histories of competing nationalisms and militarisms,” said Elizabeth Smith, AGO executive director of Curatorial Affairs and curator of the exhibition.
There are copies of the Manifesto of the fictional Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland available free for our visitors. A striking piece of graphic design, this is an amazing commemorative piece for people to be able to take with them. They’re already moving fast, so make sure you get down to the Gallery to grab yours soon!
…And Europe Will Be Stunned is accompanied by one of the artist’s earlier video works, Trembling Time (2001), from the AGO’s collection. For more information about this exhibition please visit the AGO website. Contemporary programming at the AGO is supported the Canada Council for the Arts.
1 - 3 Yael Bartana, Mary Koszmary, 2007, one channel super 16mm film transferred to video. Duration: 10.50 min. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Foksal Gallery Foundation Warsaw. Produced with support from Hermès
4, 5 Yael Bartana, Mur i Wieża, 2009, shot on RED, HD video projection, Duration: 15’00’. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam. 6-8 Yael Bartana, Zamach (Assassination), 2011, RED transfered to HD, Videostill, Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. The film was commissioned by Artangel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, The Netherlands Film Fund and Zachęta National Gallery of Art.