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Yael Bartana: Tashlikh (Cast Off)

Part of Conditions of Political Choreography

Private belongings are material testimonies of personal histories. They provoke feelings, thoughts, and ideas that relate to past experiences. In the context of war and survival, objects that made it through the process of a successful rehabilitation and building of a new life after the trauma represent a world that doesn’t exist anymore. They are kept and cherished, reaching a certain degree of sanctity, but also operating as a continuous reminder of the past. Yael Bartana’s Tashlikh (Cast Off)serves as a platform for both perpetrators and survivors of various genocides or ethnic persecutions – the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, as well as Sudanese and Eritrean ethnic cleansing or civil wars – to confront their personal material links to the horrors of the past. Inspired by the Jewish custom of “Tashlikh” where casting bread or other objects into a river symbolizes a relinquishing of sins, Bartana’s work generates a new ritual that consists of the deliberate discarding of objects as a means of psychological liberation. Yael Bartana (b. 1970, Kfar Yehezkel, Israel, lives in Tel Aviv, Berlin, and Amsterdam) studied at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, the School of Visual Arts, New York, and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. In 2011, Bartana represented Poland at the 54th edition of the Venice Biennial. Bartana’s work has been shown in numerous leading museums and biennials including the Sao Paulo Biennial (2014); the Biennial of Sydney (2013); Walker Art Center, Pittsburgh (2013); Carnegie International (2013); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2012); Secession, Vienna (2012); the Berlin Biennale (2012); Moderna Museet, Malmo (2010); PS1, New York (2008); and documenta 12, Kassel (2007). Her work is part of the collections of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague; Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Jewish Museum, New York; Kadist, Paris; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Modern, London; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

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