Yael Bartana. Utopia Now!

25.05.2024 - 24.11.2024
Yael Bartana, Malka Germania (film still), 2021; commissioned by the Jewish Museum Berlin

Yael Bartana (*1970 in Israel; lives in Amsterdam and Berlin) is considered to be one of the most important international artists of her generation. Her films, photographs, objects, neon works and performances attempt to connect the past and the present in order to develop speculative futures. Bartana describes her manner of working as “Pre-enactment” – not a reproduction of what has been, but rather, an anticipation of what is to come. What if… According to the artist “Pre-enactment blends facts with fiction. It is a mental experiment that subjects historical narration to questioning, creates an alternative present and counterfactual story.”

Since the beginning of the 2000s, Yael Bartana has investigated themes as national identity and religious tradition, collective traumas and the yearning for redemption, patriarchal power structures and promises of salvation. While the point of departure engages with the present, her oeuvre questions and proposes thoughts on how we can live together in a future that defies the shared burden of our past.

The artworks selected for Utopia Now! at the Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst includes film installations, photographs and neon works from the last ten years as well as the world premiere of Bartana’s latest film – with a special focus on facts of German history and the present. However, the artist is not interested in processing or even disssolving German guilt. Rather, Utopia Now! enables us to imagine a possible positive future – with visions that transcend national borders and identities.

Yael Bartana is currently a scholarship holder at the Villa Massimo in Rome and will be presenting the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale from April 2024 (together with director Ersan Mondtag). Yael Bartana works can be found in the collections of the MOMA, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; Van Abbemuseum, Rotterdam; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others. She had solo exhibitions at the Jüdisches Museum, Berlin (2021), Philadelphia Museum of Art (2018), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015), Wiener Secession (2012), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2012), Moderna Museet, Malmö (2010), MoMA PS1, New York (2008) et al. She also has participated in the Biennales in São Paulo (2014, 2010, 2006), Berlin (2012), the Polish Pavilion in Venice (2011) and Istanbul (2005), as well as at documenta 12 (2007) and Manifesta 4 (2002).

 

Opening: May 24, 2024, 7 pm

Admission free

Exhibition on level 3

Curated by Janneke de Vries