Jews Return Jews Return Jews Return..., 2008
digital print on photopaper (matte)
each photo 48 x 80 cm
Edition 1/5 +2 A.P
2008 Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milano, IT
Yael Bartana's diptych Jews Return Jews Return Jews Return..., shows a double portrait of Polish left-wing publicist Slawomir Sierakowski, speaking. The subtitles in the image reveal he is speaking the words 'Jews' and 'Return'. This work corresponds to Bartana's video work Mary Koszmary (2007). In this work, to the sounds of the Polish national anthem, Slawomir Sierakowski strides into a huge, empty stadium in Warsaw. In a breathtaking speech, he asks three million Jews to return to their homeland to help the Poles deal with their nightmares. Mary Koszmary (Nightmares) is the first part of the Polish trilogy … and Europe will be stunned.
The second part of the trilogy is Mur I Wieza (Wall and Tower, 2009), which is an answer to Sierakowski's provocation. A group of young people dressed in costumes, mocking the 1930s East European pioneer Jews, are returning to Warsaw to construct a Wall and Tower settlement reminiscent of the Wall and Tower settlements built in the 1930s in the Palestinian territory. They erect the settlement in the place where the Warsaw Ghetto was located during World War II, beside the Heroes of the Ghetto monument. While Sierakowski watches, these young people, after finishing the construction, raise a blood-red flag bearing a symbol that combines the Star of David and the Polish eagle on the observatory tower in the middle of the settlement. The symbol is of the fictional Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, founded by the artist. Through heroic images and the sounds of young men building a new country, Bartana's film mirrors and displays the Zionist dream.
The third part of the trilogy is yet to be made. The finished trilogy will be presented in the Polish pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2011.