Yael Bartana. Assassination

03.06 – 21.08.2011 Yael Bartana. Assassination

Zachęta National Gallery of Art

curators: Sebastian Cichocki, Galit Eilat

A film by the Israeli artist Yael Bartana, Assassination is presented parallel to the exhibition … and Europe will be stunned in the Polonia Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice. For the first time ever, Poland is represented in the biennale by a foreign artist. Assassination is the last part of Bartana’s ‘Polish’ trilogy, which also includes Nightmares (2007) and Wall and Tower (2009).

Bartana’s project is a kind of experimental national psychotherapy, during which historical demons are waken up and brought to the surface. Notwithstanding a complex picture of Polish-Jewish relations, it is also a universal narrative about our readiness to accept the Other and the problem of cultural integration in an unstable world full of political tensions and breakthroughs. The films traverse a landscape scarred by the histories of competing nationalisms and militarisms, overflowing with the narratives of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionist dreams, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the Palestinian right of return.

Present for the first time in whole at the Polonia Pavilion, Yael Bartana’s film trilogy is dedicated to the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. Initiated by the artist, the movement calls for the ‘return’ of three million Jews to the land of their forefathers. In the last part of the trilogy, Bartana deals with the dream of building a multiethnic community, a new Polish society. Assassination is set in the near future, during the funeral ceremonies of the JRMP leader, who has died from the hands of an unknown assassin. The leader’s death becomes the founding myth of a new movement, which might turn into an actual political proposition to be implemented in the nearest future in Poland, somewhere else in Europe, or in the Middle East. The film was made in spring 2011 in Warsaw: around Krakowskie Przedmieście street in the Palace of Culture and Science, in Piłsudski square. JRMiP members demonstrated in the streets of Warsaw, mingling with animal rights activists or groups praying for the victims of the Smolensk disaster in front of the Presidential Palace, provoking both sympathetic and hateful reactions. The Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland will hold its first congress during the Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2012.

Yael Bartana, Zamach (Assassination), 2011 RED transfered to HD.The film was commissioned by Artangel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture and Zachęta National Gallery of Art, in association with Annet Gelink Gallery, Sommer Contemporary Art, Ikon Gallery, Netherlands Film Fund, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Artis, produced by My-i Productions in association with Artangel.

Artist's works in the Zachęta collection

  • Zdjęcie pracy Assassination
    AssassinationYael Bartana2011
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Yael Bartana. Assassination
03.06 – 21.08.2011

Zachęta National Gallery of Art
pl. Małachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
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Polish participation in the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice was made possible through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Insitute, The Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts, Mondriaan Foundation.
sponsors of the gallery: PERI, Lidex, Netia
sponsors of the opening ceremony: De Longhi, Kenwood, Blikle, Freixenet
media paronage: Gazeta Wyborcza, TOK FM, The Warsaw Voice, Stolica, Art&Business, Artinfo.pl