Tashlikh (Cast Off) #3, 2017
fine art print on fibre rag paper
70 x 50 cm
Edition 1/3 + 2 AP
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.