Yael Bartana’s films, installations and photographs explore the imagery of identity and the politics of memory. Her starting point is the national consciousness propagated by her native country, Israel. Central to the work are ceremonies, public rituals and social diversions that are intended to reaffirm the collective identity of the nation state.
In her Israeli projects, Bartana dealt with the impact of war, military rituals and a sense of threat on every-day life. Between 2006 and 2011, she has been working in Poland, creating the trilogy 'And Europe Will Be Stunned', a project on the history of Polish-Jewish relations and its influence on the contemporary Polish identity. The trilogy represented Poland in the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice (2011).
In recent years Bartana has been experimenting with different mediums and expanding her body of work, presenting projects such as 'Inferno' (2013), a “pre-enactment” of the destruction of the Third Temple in São Paulo, 'True Finn' (2014), that questions the national Finnish identity, 'Simone The Hermetic', a site-based sound installation which takes place in future Jerusalem, and 'Tashlikh' (cast off), a visual meditation that gathers personal objects linked to horrors of the past and the present. Her latest work, 'What If Women Ruled the World' is an experimental performance which combines fictional settings and real life participants, setting up a particular forum for action while exploring possible alternatives to a world dominated by men.