...and Europe will be stunned
The UAG is proud to present the US premiere of Yael Bartana’s ... and Europe will be stunned. This exhibition was the official Polish participation at the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice. It is also the inaugural event to be held in the Contemporary Arts Center Gallery at UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Bartana’s trilogy aesthetically references propaganda films of the 1930s, which, when presented as a gallery installation, collectively deconstruct a group of ideological positions that contributed to the founding of Israel – European anti-Semitism, Colonialism, Socialism, and Zionism. In so doing, the historical origin and development of Zionism, vis-à-vis Israel’s contemporary political stance toward the Palestinians, is scrutinized. Key to the installation is the viewer’s geographical transportation from Israel/Palestine to Poland, which is enacted in Bartana’s films through a fictional political movement, “The Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland,” that advocates the return of 3 million Jews back to Poland. At once ironic and serious, the work urges the viewer to consider the social mandate of a Jewish Homeland from contradictory perspectives. Curated by Juli Carson, this exhibition continues the UAG’s Critical Aesthetics Program, featuring internationally renowned artworks by mid-career artists.