Yael Bartana

  • The work of Yael Bartana investigates the imagination and imagery of identity and the politics of national memory and identity. Her interest in understanding and examining national statehood stems from being born in Israel, and being surrounded by the perpetual production of collective national identity. After completing her studies, Bartana undertook what she called ‘amateur anthropological’ research into ritual and myth making to take a critical perspective towards her own history and nationality. As a result of her politically charged practice that often deals with Jewish identity in Israel and abroad, she has garnered significant criticism, notably being labeled as anti-Zionist and a self-hating Jew. Despite this criticism, Bartana believes that, through her work as an artist, exploring both political statehood and religious and political diaspora, she is responsible for addressing these issues. Bartana believes that growing up in such a politically charged state requires artists to become either political artists, or escapists.

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The work of Yael Bartana investigates the imagination and imagery of identity and the politics of national memory and identity. Her interest in understanding and examining national statehood stems from being born in Israel, and being surrounded by the perpetual production of collective national identity. After completing her studies, Bartana undertook what she called ‘amateur anthropological’ research into ritual and myth making to take a critical perspective towards her own history and nationality. As a result of her politically charged practice that often deals with Jewish identity in Israel and abroad, she has garnered significant criticism, notably being labeled as anti-Zionist and a self-hating Jew. Despite this criticism, Bartana believes that, through her work as an artist, exploring both political statehood and religious and political diaspora, she is responsible for addressing these issues. Bartana believes that growing up in such a politically charged state requires artists to become either political artists, or escapists.