Malka Germania

The University Art Galleries is pleased to present the American Premiere of Yael Bartana’s three-channel video installation, Malka Germania, originally commissioned by the Jewish Museum Berlin in 2020 as part of Yael Bartana’s retrospective exhibition, Redemption Now. The large-scale immersive installation features an androgynous female “messiah,” who flushes Berlin’s “fears, dreams, repressed traumata and memories onto the surface,” as Jewish Museum curators Shelley Harten and Gregor H. Lersch describe. “Malka Germania” is Hebrew for “Queen Germany,” while “Germania” alone simultaneously connotes the historic megalomaniacal Nazi vision of the city of Berlin. As with Bartana’s film trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned (which also made its American premiere in the University Art Galleries in 2011) the hard distinction between such oppositions as past/present, trauma/utopia, villain/victim, amnesia/memory, and precarity/stability have a moebius quality, as if in a dreamscape. A film evoking the “End Days” – produced over the course of 2020 when the “apocalyptic” convergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US-presidential elections and the Black Lives Matter protests all converged – gives Malka Germania both its timely and uncanny value. As global politics have given rise to a renewed battle between democracy and autocracy, the idea of a savior rising to thwart the horror of totalitarian regimes has startling resonance. But, as Bartana’s fever-dream vision forewarns, be careful what you wish for!


Yael Bartana (born Israel, 1970) 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. Solo Exhibitions include: Fondazione Modena Arti Visive (2019/2020); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2018); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015); Secession, Vienna (2012); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2012); Moderna Museet, Malmö (2010); MoMA PS1, NY (2008). Selection of Group Exhibitions: São Paulo Biennial (2014, 2010, 2006); Berlin Beinnial (2012); documenta 12 (2007); Istanbul Biennial (2005), Manifesta 4 (2002). She won the Artes Mundi 4 Prize (2010) and the trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned was ranked as the 9th most important artwork of the 21st century by the Guardian newspaper (2019).


Presented with generous support from Diane and Igal Silber, The Claire Trevor Society, CTSA Dean’s Fund for Excellence, UCI Illuminations, and the Mondriaan Fund. 

Yael Bartana
Juli Carson
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery
Exhibition Dates: 
Jan 22, 2022 to Apr 09, 2022
Saturday, January 29, 2022 - 2:00pm
Monday, April 4, 2022 - 12:00pm
Yael Bartana and Juli Carson in Conversation - April 4th

Yael Bartana and Juli Carson in Conversation:
Filmic Pre-enactment in the Geopolitical Field

A public event in conjunction with the American Premiere of Yael Bartana’s Malka Germania at UCIrvine.

Brochure for Malka Germania