Resurrection I–II, 2020

Photograph series of 2 images

Yael Bartana’s photographic work "Resurrection" brings together different aesthetic traditions and presents a mutational, multilayered image that alludes to the worlds of Art History and religious mysticism. Holding a living hare and standing quietly with her face half covered, Bartana communicates with the mythical performance piece How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare from 1965, in which Joseph Beuys – his face covered in honey and golden leaf – walked around a gallery holding a dead hare and whispered to its ear explanations of the hanged works, as well as with the performative act by James Lee Byers from 1983 in which he invited Beuys to lay down with him on a gallery floor while his own face was covered in black silk. Visually reinterpreting the two performative interventions while reversing the original settings, “Resurrection" seeks to challenge the devotional and priestly nature of the art world as well as the authoritative and traditionally masculine figure of the artist, evoking a process of empathy, rebirth and transformation.
The work was first presented at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, as part of the 2021 project
State and Nature.

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