Image from Zamach (Assassination), 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013) Image courtesy of the artist
Nationhood, belonging, memoryBlurring fact and fiction, artist Yael Bartana reimagines historical narratives to spur a dialogue about urgent social and geopolitical issues of our time. This immersive exhibition presents her provocative film trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned, which chronicles the radical vision of the fictional Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. Taking the complexity of Jewish-Polish identity as a point of departure, the films speak to larger themes of nationhood, belonging, and memory. Outside the walls of the Museum, Bartana will realize a new site-specific public performance. Titled Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!, the performance is a call to action that takes the form of a military funeral. Through a symbolic burial of weapons, she extends the concepts explored in her trilogy to the birthplace of American democracy—Philadelphia.
Artist Yael Bartana. Photo by Birgit Kaulfuss
About the ArtistIn her films, installations, photographs, and staged performances, Yael Bartana (born Israel, 1970) investigates subjects like national identity, trauma, and displacement, often through ceremonies, memorials, and public rituals. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, and is represented in the collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. She currently lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. Learn more about the artist on her website.
SponsorMajor support for the exhibition Yael Bartana: And Europe Will Be Stunned and the site-specific performance Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! was provided by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional generous contributions from the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Lyn M. Ross, and The Arlin and Neysa Adams Endowment Fund.
CuratorAmanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art
LocationJoan Spain Gallery, first floor, Perelman Building
Image at top: Detail of still from Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower), 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned. Image courtesy of the artist