Yael Bartana (b. 1970, Kfar Yehezkel, Israel) is an Israeli video artist, who lives and works in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.
Yael Bartana has had several solo exhibitions at among others Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, PS1 in New York and Moderna Museet Malmö. She participated in Documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007, in the São Paulo Art Biennial 2010 and won the Artes Mundi Prize in 2010. Yael Bartana is Poland’s choice for the 2011 Venice Biennale. She is the first non Polish citizen to represent Poland at the aforementioned event. Her work has been featured at the 2007 Documenta 12 and the 2010 Sao Paulo Biennale. Bartana’s photography, film, and sound works investigate questions surrounding society, spirituality, and politics.
Yael Bartana’s films, film installations and photographs, challenges the national consciousness that are propagated by her native country Israel. Questions of “Homeland”, “Return” and “Belonging” are the central questions she explores.
Bartana’s platform of investigation are ceremonies, public rituals and social diversions that are intended to reaffirm the collective identity of countries. Working outside the country, she observes it from a critical distance. Her early films were primarily registrations in which aesthetic interventions, including soundtracks, slowing the image and specific camera perspectives, played a role. The Israeli artist first became interested in exploring the nation of Poland four years ago, when she began her Polish Trilogy, a series of films that examine nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe as a historic homeland for Ashkenazi Jews. In recent years, she has increasingly staged her films, and proposed utopic narratives for new chapters of history.