Yael Bartana, "And Europe Will Be Stunned"

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Yael Bartana, "And Europe Will Be Stunned"
Courtesy Petzel Gallery
Yael Bartana, still from And Europe Will Be Stunned, 2007–11

The Israeli-Dutch artist presents her ambitious video trilogy, which debuted at the 2011 Venice Biennale and revolves around a fictional (though perhaps not) political movement called the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMIP). In Bartana's telling, JRMIP (whose charismatic Polish leader is seen calling for the repatriation of 3 million Jews to Poland, once home to the largest Jewish community in the world before its destruction by the Nazis) becomes a symbol for both the delusions of utopianism and the dangers of nationalism. Shooting in a propagandistic style that deliberately recalls Leni Riefenstahl, Bartana casts the entangled histories of Poland, the Holocaust, Israel and Palestine in a strange, new, ambiguous light.

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