Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition by Israeli artist Yael Bartana. The show will mark the New York debut of her latest two films: Inferno and True Finn. This will be the gallery’s second solo show with the artist.
In Inferno, Yael Bartana films the inauguration of a grand temple, the destruction of it, and the worship of its debris. The starting point is the construction of a replica of Solomon’s Temple in São Paulo by an evangelical neo-Pentecostal church called the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG). The temple is built with stones imported from Israel as the UCKG intends to bring part of the Holy Land to São Paulo, thus inverting the traditional path taken by pilgrims who would leave Brazil for the Holy Land.
The film’s conflation of place, history, and belief allows Bartana to weave connections between the complex realities of São Paulo and Jerusalem. Shot and edited with stylistic references to Hollywood action epics, her film employs what she refers to as “historical pre-enactment,” a methodology that commingles fact and fiction, and prophesies and histories. Using this powerful cinematic language, Inferno combines histories of antiquity in the Middle East with Brazil’s contemporary hybrid culture. The film addresses the grandiose temple project through a vision of its future destruction.
In contrast to Inferno’s rich pageantry, stylized costuming, and abundant reference toward Hollywood blockbusters, True Finn is a documentary style film asking eight people from Finland one simple question – who is a true Finn? Invited by and working in connection with Finland’s Pro Arte Foundation, Bartana’s objective with True Finn was to create and record a utopian moment that would yield an answer to this question.
As a result of an open call, eight Finnish-residents came to live together for seven days in a house in the countryside. The condition was that each person had a different ethnic, religious, and political background. Life, discussions, and specifically designed assignments were filmed, with the edited material forming the core of the artwork.
True Finn probes questions about identity, nationhood, and belonging. These themes have always been central to Bartana’s practice: how does national identity operate as a means of inclusion and exclusion? What happens when these people live together for a week with the sole purpose to re-define Finnishness, their own selves, and their relationship to others? What are we talking about when we talk about national identity? Can an immigrant truly shed their identity?
Yael Bartana (1970, Kfar-Yehezkel, Israel) studied at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem; the School of Visual Arts, New York; and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Her solo exhibitions include the Moderna Museet, Malmö; PS1/MoMA, New York; The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; the Kunstverein Hamburg; and Secession, Vienna, among others. In 2011, she represented Poland for the 54th edition of the Venice Biennial where her trilogy, And Europe Will Be Stunned, premiered. Most recently, Bartana’s work has been exhibited at the Pérez Art Museum Miami; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 2014 Sydney Biennial; Carnegie International; and Sao Paulo Biennial. In the summer of 2015, her work will be presented at The Guggenheim Museum, New York and in the autumn of 2016 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her artworks are included in numerous public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; The National Gallery of Canada, Ontario; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London.
Petzel Gallery is located at 456 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For press inquiries, please contact Janine Latham at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (212) 680-9467.
Produced for the exhibition And Europe Will Be Stunned, curated by Joa Ljungberg at the Moderna Museet, Malmö, May 22 - September 19, 2010.
Texts by Magnus Jensner, Joa Ljungberg, Joshua Simon. Conversation between Yael Bartana, Galit Eilat and Charles Esche.
Published by Revolver Publishing, Berlin.
Softcover, 8.5 x 11 in. / 21.5 x 28 cm.
A Cookbook for Political Imagination accompanies Yael Bartana’s exhibition “… and Europe will be stunned” for the Polish Pavilion at the 54th Biennale of Art in Venice. This is not a traditional exhibition catalogue but rather a manual of political instructions and recipes, delivered by more than forty international authors. Covering a broad spectrum of themes, the cookbook comprises manifestos, artistic contributions, fictional stories to elements of visual identity, food recipes, social advice and guidance for members of the movement. It is the first book published under the auspices of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, and has been edited by the curators of the exhibition, Sebastian Cichocki and Galit Eilat, and designed by Guy Saggee from Shual Studio (Tel Aviv).
Contributions by Gish Amit, Yazid Anani, Ariella Azoulay, Marek Beylin, Achim Borchardt-Hume, Andrea Geyer, Anka Grupinska, Mika Hannula, Daniel Hendrickson, Rafal Jakubowicz, Wam Kat, Yuval Kremnitzer, Renzo Martens, Oliver Ressler, Sarah Rifky, Lia Perjovschi, Stefanie Peter & Phillipp Goll, Avi Pitchon, Chantal Pontbriand, Ila Ben Porat, Steven ten Thije, James Trainor, WHW, and others.
Published by Sternberg Press, Berlin and Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw.
Hardcover 5.5 x 9.5 in. / 14 x 24 cm.
Out of print
Inferno depicts the inauguration and destruction of a temple based on the true reconstruction of Solomon's Temple by an evangelical neo-Pentecostal group in São Paulo, Brazil. Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Petzel, New York, January 8 - February 14, 2015 and at Capitain Petzel, Berlin, January 23 - February 28, 2015.
Texts by Benjamin Seroussi and Eyal Danon.
Published by Petzel, New York.
Hardcover, 9.5 x 12.5 in. / 24 x 31.75 cm.
The catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition 'Short Memory', held in The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv and at P.S.1 MoMA, New York. The publication includes stills of 'Wild Seeds', 'A Declaration', 'Mary Koszmary', 'Summer Camp', 'Kings Of The Hill', 'Trembling Time', 'Sirens' Song', 'Profile', 'Low Relief', 'When Adar Enters', 'You Could Be Lucky', and 'Freedom Border'.
Contributions by Sergio Edelsztein, Ariella Ayoulay, Joanna Mytkowska, Galit Eilat. Interviews by Klaus Biesenbach.
Published by The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv.
188 pages pages, in Hebrew and English