Yael Bartana

Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents the second solo exhibition of Yael Bartana (Israel, 1970).

Yael Bartana produced two video and sound installations in the past year, A Declaration (2006) and Summer Camp (2007). Both works form part of her presentation in the gallery and a series of posters and photos. Both videoworks are inspired  by the Zionist propaganda films from the thirties and forties, both in visuals and audio as in subject. For this occasion we have rebuilt the backroom of the gallery into a wooden construction in which Bartana's latest work Summer Camp can be viewed, also to be seen in Documenta XII in Kassel.
Summer Camp shows the activities of "The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions" (ICAHD); their actions consist amongst others of rebuilding Palestinian houses in the occupied territories. In the summer of 2006 Bartana filmed a group of ICAHD volunteers consisting of Palestinians, Israeli and various other nationalities, assisted by Palestinian construction workers, who were trying to rebuild in the village of Anata (east of Jerusalem) the former house of Abu Ahmed Al Hadad at exactly the same location where it was demolished by the Israeli authorities at the end of 2005. The result is a phenomenally edited 12 minutes image and sound composition in which Bartana uses the same stylistic devices as the Zionist propaganda films from the first half of the twentieth century.
For Summer Camp Bartana had herself inspired amongst others by Helmar Lerski's film Awodah (Palestine 1935), which just like other propaganda films from these days portrays the realisation of the Zionist dream to found a nation-state under the motto "We came to Israel to build and to be built". By quoting the old propaganda films Bartana's Summer Camp show the resemblance between the ideological and visual relation of building by the ICAHD as a form of resistance against the occupation and the building of the state of Israel by the Zionist movement. Helmar Lerski's film Awodah is shown in the middle space of the gallery, where also some documentation can be looked into.