January 21 at 9 PM, Walter Reade Theater: New York Jewish Film Festival

by jhoberman.


…And Europe Will Be Stunned. Yael Bartana. Poland, 2007-11; 60m Nightmares / Mary Koszmary , Wall and Tower / Mur I wieza, Assassination / Zamach

As modern Zionism was born with Theodor Herzl’s novel Altneuland, so artist Yael Bartana willed into existence a reverse Zionism, the not-quite-fictitious or entirely ironic Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, with her video trilogy. Over the three parts of …And Europe Will Be Stunned (which represented Poland at the 2011 Venice Biennale as an installation), one sees the birth pangs of the campaign, replete with mass rallies and youth groups, supported by both Poles and Israelis, to restore Jewish life in Poland. Bartana’s iconography alludes to the tragedy of 20th-Century European Jewry while drawing both on the Soviet propaganda of the 1920s and the Zionist propaganda of the 1930s, archival examples of which will be shown along with her work.

Introduction and discussion with J. Hoberman.