Yael Bartana uses photography, film, video, sound and installation to create complex visualisations. Using documentation, simulations and re-enactments she explores the relationship of the individual within society.
That society is often Israel or other communities with strong connections to Jewish – Israeli history. Born in 1970, Bartana’s work addresses issues of the mechanism of nationalism and the formation of identity, focusing upon Israel and the Israeli situation.
Yael Bartana explores the details of everyday living and its rituals while relating them to the actions of the state and the constant presence of war and insecurity in her country. Recently she called herself an ’amateur anthropologist’ acknowledging that she reflects and challenges the political and cultural associations for which her country is known.
In 2006 Bartana was invited to work in Warsaw, Poland, a country where some 3 million Jews lived before Nazi occupation during World War II. The Warsaw Ghetto became a sealed community where death from disease or deportation to the gas chamber has become an indelible part of history. On its site she constructed a kibbutz out of wood, filming its building. As part of the initiative she founded the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP).