Israel 2007, Super 16 transferred to video, 10’30 minutes
Yael Bartana was born in Afula, Israel, in 1970. Today, she lives and works in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. Nourished by an attachment to the land of Israel, Bartana’s work offers a detached, critical, yet undeniably poetic reflection on the complex relationship between the individual and society. Video, her favoured medium, is particularly well-suited to her focus on the isolated individual. Everyday actions are examined in light of the current geopolitical context. Bartana’s videos interrogate the state of permanent war in which Israeli society finds itself, and the position of women within this tense situation. She considers the question of language: its vitality, its power, and the sense of loneliness that arises from the experience of not being understood. In Mary-Koszmary, 2007, a young Polish leftist gives a speech at the Warsaw Stadium, evoking the complex situation in Poland before the outbreak of the Second World War. If the allegory is political, it touches as much on human subjectivity.