… and Europe will be stunned | Polish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale

Bartana’s films, Mary Koszmary (2007), Mur i wieża (2009) and Zamach (2011) revolve around the activities of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP): a political group calling for the return of Jews to the land of their forefathers. The films traverse a landscape scarred by the histories of competing nationalisms and militarisms—overflowing with the narratives of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionist dreams, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the Palestinian right of return. Apart from realising the film trilogy, the artist has established the foundations of a new political movement. Yael Bartana is the first non-Polish national to represent Poland in the history of the Venice Biennale.

Venue: Polish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice. Italy.
Dates: 4.06 – 27.11.2011

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Mary Koszmary (Nightmares) is the first film in the trilogy and explores a complicated set of social and political relationships among Jews, Poles and other Europeans in an age of globalisation. A young activist, delivers a speech in the abandoned National Stadium in Warsaw. He urges three million Jews to come back to Poland.

The second film in the trilogy, Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower) was made in the Warsaw district of Muranów, where a new kibbutz was erected to the scale and in the architectural style of those constructed in the 1930s. In the new film Zamach (Assassination), the final part of her trilogy, Bartana ultimately tests the dream of multinational community and a brand new Polish society. The film takes place in the not too distant future, during the funeral ceremony of the leader of the Jewish Renaissance Movement, who has been killed by an unidentified assassin. It is by means of this symbolic death that the myth of the new political movement is unified—a movement that could become a concrete project to be implemented in Poland, Europe, or the Middle East in the days to come.

Co-curated with Sebastian Cichocki. Architect Oren Sagiv. Photographer Ilya Rabinovich.