Yael Bartana


Yael Bartana (1970, Kfar Yehezkel, Israel) is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives and works between Berlin and Amsterdam. Her films, photography and sound works explore the imagery of identity and the politics of memory. Central to her works are aspects of society interweaving past and present, reality and fiction, the conceptual and the emotional, as well as implications of terms such as “displacement”, “assimilation” or “homeland”. Bartana represented Poland at the 54th Biennale in Venice and has had numerous solo exhibitions around the world. She has also participated in leading international exhibitions, including Documenta, the Biennial of São Paulo and Manifesta.



(Cast off, 2017)
Video, 11’ 14”, with sound

Private belongings are material testimonies of personal histories, which evoke feelings, thoughts and ideas connected to past experiences. In the context of war and survival, such objects become both comforting and hurtful signifiers of a world that has been lost or is no longer accessible. In many cases, they are kept and cherished, even achieving a certain degree of sanctity while also operating as a continuous reminder of the devastating past. Yael Bartana’s video Tashlikh (Cast off) serves as a platform for both perpetrators and survivors of genocides or ethnic persecutions to confront their personal, material links to the horrors. Inspired by the Jewish custom of “Tashlikh”, in which sins are casted into the depths of the sea, Bartana’s work generates a ritual that consists of the deliberate discarding of objects as a means of psychological liberation.


Screened at SF Kino.

Image: Yael Bartana, Tashlikh (castoff, 2017), Video, 11’ 14”, with sound, video still. Courtesy of the artist.