This week: Bad at Sports humbly presents Yael Bartana. We speak about her film work, identity struggles, the history of war and power, and just how an Israeli comes to represent Poland in the 2011 Venice Biennial.
Bio from Experimental Television Center
Yael Bartana was born in 1970 in Kfar-Yehozkel, Israel. She has a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, an MFA from the New York School of Visual Arts and participated in the Rijksakademie artist-in-residence program from 2000-2001. She has had solo exhibitions in many countries including Germany, Israel, Australia and Japan and has won various prizes such as the Anselm Kiefer Prize (2003) and the Dorothea von Stetten-Kunstpreis (2005).
Her work focuses mainly on the relationship between ritual and identity in Israeli society, looking at the practices that constitute identity, especially in its relation with traditional and contemporary notions of gender, place and ethnicity. In most of the pieces Bartana uses documentary footage shot in public or semi-public spaces at collective events that contribute to identity formation, such as shooting drills for trainee female soldiers or the carnivalesque festivities of the Jewish holiday Purim. Bartana currently lives and works in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.