Yael Bartana, CRISIS-CRYSIS-CRYCIS, 2021, Neon Installation, 140 x 200 cm
With her works, Yael Bartana undermines reality and questions the completeness of each and every statement. Through ambiguous irony, she parodies the stereotypes and common clichés of the dominant value system. In her films and installations, the artist often uses old image codes from the language of power and propaganda. Breaking up content and form and tearing them out of their familiar context, she breathes new life into these codes, updating them and transforming them into timeless formulas.
Bartana’s neon work Crisis – Crysis – Crycis, newly created for Diversity United, is a playful demonstration of imaginary and alternative etymological origins to a term that has become a banal cliché in recent times. Phonetically dismantling the term, she alludes to the original Greek meaning of the word, krisis, which means a turning point that could lead to both a catastrophe and an opportunity. Doing so, the work touches upon notions of foreignness, calling for solidarity within marginalised communities and demanding a revaluation of patriarchal values. Bartana’s pointed message fits into our crisis-ridden world in which the word ‘crisis’ seems to be the only important one.
Yael Bartana (born Israel, 1970) is an observer of the contemporary and a pre-enactor. She employs art as a scalpel inside the mechanisms of power structures and navigates the fine and crackled line between the sociological and the imagination. Over the past twenty years, she has dealt with some of the dark dreams of the collective unconscious and reactivated the collective imagination, dissected group identities and (an-)aesthetic means of persuasion. In her films, installations, photographs, staged performances and public monuments Yael Bartana investigates subjects like national identity, trauma, and displacement, often through ceremonies, memorials, public rituals and collective gatherings.
Her work has been exhibited worldwide, and is represented in the collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. She currently lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam.