The Recorder Player from Sheikh Jarrah, 2010
b/w video, sound
Duration: 7'20'' min.
Edition 4/5 + 2 A.P.
2011, Art Basel
2011, 'You are all individuals!', Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, NL
2011, 'Yael Bartana, Two Works', CUC Gallery Berlin
In this video Bartana's protagonist is doing away with uniform and rows of people. She stands firm yet alone dressed in what seems to be a simple tank top and men's shorts. A recorder player in her hands she succeeds in sending out a convinced image even if the camera captures some undisclosedand slight inner weakness.
The whole matter is bewildering for not only the character is playing notes from the famous 'Internationale' anthem and form the 'solidarity' poem performed often in memorial services in Israel, but more so due to the fact that the scene takes place right in front of a human chain of Israeli army police officers. The young woman does not withdraw in fear before the wall of men equipped with weapons blocking her way. On the contrary, she goes on to preform with her instrument notes from yet another song that has been popular in Israel since 1982 percieved at that time to be recorded in protest of the first Lebanon War.
The Recorder Player of Sheikh Jarrah is one figure among others that joined the rallies against eviction of Muslim residents by Jewish settlers from Jerusalem neighborhood. She may be part of a group, hence, the playing of the ' Internationale' anthem that had become associated with anarchist groups. Howeverm in her music and in her powerful withstanding elevated in the video, the player is able to capture and demonstrate the strength embedded in our notion of protest as she breaches the separating wall she is facing.